Franklin Templeton consolidates ôCeemeaö with India

Vivek Kudva will take charge of an enormous emerging-market territory, while Harshendu Bindal is moving to Mumbai to oversee India.

As regional groupings go "Ceemea" is pretty disjointed: Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa covers a lot of diverse ground. Now add that to India and you have a new role for Vivek Kudva, managing director at Franklin Templeton, who has just been given responsibility for strategy across these regions.

 Mumbai-based Kudva has already been running India for Franklin Templeton and will continue to do so. He has been promoted to run Ceemea as well, and to come up with ways to build on the firm's existing franchises in several of its markets.

One reason for handing the baton to Kudva is the perception that these emerging markets have certain commonalities. Another is that in some, notably in the Middle East, there is a substantial non-resident Indian population, which suggests some synergies with basing strategy from Mumbai. More prosaically, Kudva won the promotion based on his work in India, and he prefers to remain there.

Under Kudva, Franklin Templeton has maintained its position as the largest foreign mutual-funds house in India (assuming one counts ICICI Prudential as local), with about $4 billion of onshore assets under management, and eighth overall.

"One of the strengths of Franklin Templeton is that we've always been internationally diversified," Kudva says. "Many of these new markets are going to provide us with growth that may offset some of what's happening in the US and Western Europe."

Until now, Ceemea has been the purview of Harshendu Bindal, who oversaw the region from Dubai, but who also had responsibility for business development in the firm's hubs of Johannesburg and Warsaw.

Bindal is transferring to Mumbai where he will become president of the Indian asset-management business, effective April 1. Bindal will now report to Kudva, who in turn reports to Jed Plafker, executive managing director for international advisory services in San Mateo, California.

The individual sales heads in Dubai, Johannesburg and Warsaw will remain in place but report to Kudva as well.

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