Who makes a better Mutual Fund CEO in India?

Kayezad E. Adajania has a nice article in Mint asking this question.

Does a fund manager make a better CEO or someone from other management domains like marketing/sales etc.:

The way a fund house connects with investors, and the type of products it offers has a lot to do with its vision, which is driven by its head, the chief executive officer (CEO). Of course, the team matters; but how it goes ahead collectively depends on the CEO. Broadly, there are two types of CEOs in the Indian mutual funds (MF) industry. One is a former fund manager and the other comes from a non-fund managerial background, such as sales or marketing. Eight of the top 20 asset management companies (AMCs), and two of the top five, are headed by former money managers. So, who makes for a better CEO? Does the origin matter?
When it comes to scrutinizing companies and evaluating risk, fund managers do it naturally. Fund management is the heart of the business. If there are no schemes to manage, there wouldn’t be a fund house. In a market like India where actively-managed funds outperform passively-managed ones, its important for funds to do well. No amount of brilliant sales strategies can rescue an underperforming fund. After the global credit crisis in 2008, many sponsors of AMCs in India felt the need to manage risk and reputation, and started looking towards fund managers to head their MF businesses. For example, when Axis Asset Management Co. Ltd was launched in 2009, its sponsors were unanimous in their decision to appoint a fund manager to head the MF business. Rajiv Anand, who was heading investments at IDFC Asset Management, came on board to lead Axis AMC. When Anand moved to Axis Bank in May 2013, Chandresh Nigam—who was heading equity funds at Axis AMC—took over. A. Balasubramanian and Nandkumar Surti, too, benefitted from similar risk-aversion moves by sponsors during the period and took over as CEOs of Birla Sun Life AMC and JP Morgan (India) Asset Management, respectively.
Does that mean that those with a background in sales are at a disadvantage? No. In fact, some of the most successful AMC heads have a sales and marketing background. Pankaj Razdan (deputy CEO of Aditya Birla Group’s financial services division) headed ICICI Prudential AMC between January 2004 and 2007; and Amitabh Chaturvedi, former head of Reliance Capital AMC between 2003 and 2005 and later head of the group’s overall financial services till 2008, are said to be among the most successful MF CEOs. Under Razdan’s leadership, ICICI Prudential AMC’s assets went up from about Rs.150 billion to about Rs.500 billion. Under Chaturvedi, Reliance Capital AMC’s assets went up from about Rs.25 billion to about Rs.900 billion. There are other success stories too.
Most fund managers claim that their clan produces better CEOs because they can empathise with fund managers more than a sales head could. One such CEO told me that fund managers may underperform when markets are volatile; it’s not the fund manager’s fault. He said a CEO with a sales background may not understand this.
Nice bit..

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