MUMBAI: Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund, one of the earliest overseas money managers to start operations in India, has seen a slew of executive departures in the past few months amid the regulatory and legal proceedings involving liquidation of its six debt schemes. The latest to exit the embattled mutual fund is its national sales director Peshotan Dastoor, who has quit after spending 13 years with the firm.
Dastoor is said to be joining UTI Mutual Fund. UTI did not respond to an email query. Dastoor couldn’t be reached for a comment.
Dastoor’s exit comes amid speculation that Franklin is seeing an exodus of employees, especially from the sales function. The industry chatter is that as many as 50 executives have left the asset manager.
A Franklin spokesperson confirmed Dastoor is leaving the company but denied that 50 employees have quit or are on their way out.
“We have not seen an unusually high level of turnover in any division at the company or among our top performers – including within our investment teams,” the spokesperson said. “There were some departures as a result of restructuring in our local distribution and allied teams in 2020 to ensure that we are efficiently organised and resourced to create a sustainable organisation positioned for long-term growth.”
Some of the exits could have been part of Franklin’s decision to cut employee strength as the decline in the fund’s total assets under management (AUM) has made various roles in the sales function redundant, said sources. Since March 31, 2020, the fund house’s AUM has fallen almost 30%. The fund house’s troubles began late in April last year after its decision to wind up six debt schemes that resulted in ₹26,000 crore of investor money getting locked up for 10 months.