White Oak, a Mumbai-based boutique investment management firm, is emerging as one of the most successful asset management launches out of India in recent memory. With close to $3.0 billion of India dedicated AUM in little over three years, the firm’s growth has been nothing short of spectacular.
Set up in 2017 by Prashant Khemka, former CIO and Lead Portfolio Manager of India Equity and Global Emerging Markets Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, it was launched simultaneously in Singapore, India and Mauritius. It has geographically expanded over the years to establish offices in UK and Switzerland as well.
“The biggest asset that the team has created for the firm has been the extraordinary performance since the inception of the strategy a little over three years ago”,says Khemka.
Amongst the most crucial milestones for a young investment firm like White Oak, are the one-year and three-year investment returns compared to peer group. They recently celebrated the three-year anniversary with a top percentile ranking performance compared to domestic and offshore India equity managers. By delivering such outstanding results, their seasoned investment team has earned the confidence of investors globally.
“My vision was to build an investment management organisation with a strong Performance-first culture”, says Khemka. “Our top-ranking performance has come on the back of our strong and focused investment culture, which I believe is a prerequisite to generate and sustain consistent performance”, he adds.
The investment culture at White Oak comprises of four pillars – investment team, philosophy, process, and portfolio construction. A high-calibre investment team, a bottom up stock selection philosophy, a disciplined process underpinned by proprietary analytical framework, and a balanced portfolio construction approach that ensures alpha is function of stock selection helps them stay true to these pillars. They believe in keeping each of the four pillars aligned to one another and when combined it provides them an unmatched capability.
“We have been tremendously fortunate to receive support and encouragement from a large number of well-wishers who have rooted for our success from day one. It has been a humbling experience” quips Khemka.
A measure used to gauge the credibility of an investment firm particularly in the initial years is the breadth and composition of its investor base and the size of the assets under management from these investors. White Oak’s clients include globally renowned institutions such as sovereign wealth funds, pension plans and endowments as well as many individuals and family offices, many of whom are investors in their Ashoka India Opportunities UCITS fund. On the back of consistent strong performance, the firm continues to gain confidence of an increasing number of investors globally, including a growing number of individuals and family offices in India.