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BEACON TRUSTEESHIP LTD.: PROVIDING TRUST AND QUALITY WITH 100 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERTISE

BEACON TRUSTEESHIP LTD.: PROVIDING TRUST AND QUALITY WITH 100 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERTISE

The proficiency of Debenture Trustees since 1993, has been considerable assistance in safeguarding interests of debenture holders and serving as a medium between issuer Company and debenture holders. Under the guidelines of SEBI, Debenture trustees have upheld a premier sense of responsibility in executing transactions, proffering guidance on operational & legal aspects, offering assistance with regulatory bodies and much more. However, as the need has grown, so has the number of players in the industry. Today the Indian market has SEBI approved Debenture Trustee companies known for their holistic solutions.

Beacon Trusteeship Ltd. (BTL) stands ahead of the herd, for its precise quality and trust. Headquartered in the financial hub of India – Mumbai, the Company’s expertise entails on its effective management, teamwork and result-oriented business model that avails 24×7 assistance to its clients. The Company proudly stands on a cumulative AUM of US $ 83 Bn and closed 950+ transactions. It is powered, by exceptionally passionate leaders, who left behind cushy & comfortable designations to start this venture. They don’t possess a literal business mindset, which helps in running Beacon as a vibrant organisation.

PIONEERING ON UNMATCHED QUALITY
Beacon – was founded on the premise of providing superior quality at reasonable prices. Inaugurated in 2015, Beacon is a SEBI registered Debenture Trustee formed, by the expertise of ex-bankers and professionals from similar domains. Their boundless experience and competence in managing various Trusteeship activities, has helped Beacon create niche expertise in the market.

The Company shows its offerings in four respective segments – Debenture Trustee, Security Trustee, Securitisation & AIF Trusteeship. Not only does it specializes in trustee-related solutions, but it also offers comprehensive advisory as well. Their Services address all types of financial institutions including Banks, Insurance Companies, Mutual Funds and NBFCs, Government organizations, AIFs, MNCs, Family offices and High Net-worth Individuals in India and overseas.

Beacon aims to renovate the prevailing practices of trustee foundations. At the outset, they noticed that trustees offered solutions at a very low price; most of them, were funded by financial institutions. As such, quality became their foremost priority and working on that Beacon made a revered presence in its segment. In the last 5 years, the Company’s growth continuum has rewarded it with repeated business and enriched relations with clients as well as stakeholders. Another advantage of Beacon against its peers is that the top executives are accessible to all the clients, all the times, since they are hands-on into the business.

WELL-DEFINED LEADERS ON BOARD
The foundation of Beacon, was laid down by three specialists of the financial arena Pratapsingh Nathani (Chairman & Managing Director), Vitthal Nawandhar (CEO) and Ashok Motwani (Executive Director). Mr Nathani gauged his career in Indian Debt Capital Markets, Loan Syndication & Investment Banking landscape by succeeding several leadership tenures. During his stint at ING Bank (India), where he headed the Loan Syndication & Debt Capital Markets, he was fundraising for various marquee corporates. While communicating with many marquee companies, he identified the need, for competent and independent trustees as he wasn’t contented, with the prevailing ones. After completing his tenure, he put this thought into action and seek out to like-minded professionals.

He teamed up with Vitthal Nawandhar, a qualified Chartered Accountant, with demonstrated expertise in business development, structured transactions and similar areas on the segment. Mr Nawandhar has had the opportunity of working with top debenture trustees. After obtaining the licence – to operate as a Debenture Trustee in 2015, Beacon started its operations. Once the operations started – within 6 months, they welcomed Ashok Motwani on board, who is revered – for his experience and expertise in the banking sector. Mr Motwani, a career banker from IDBI Bank had once upon a time led IDBI Trusteeship Ltd. and Stockholding Corporation of India & has wide experience of products across markets including loans, bonds and securitisation. He took premature retirement as CGM of a PSU Bank for joining Beacon.

The trio further acknowledged the need of a holistic advisory council to guide and help Beacon grow into a credible organisation, with world-class services. Their advisory council consists of exceptionally experienced Bankers and Professionals, namely Mr S S Kohli, (ex-CMD of PNB and IIFCL), Mr D R Dogra (ex-MD & CEO of CARE Ratings), Mr H D Khunteta (ex-CMD of Rural Electrification Corporation), Mr S P Arora (ex-CMD, Tourism Finance Corporation of India), and Mr S Kalani (Vice President – Taxation, Tata Chemicals).

CUSTOMIZED BUSINESS MODEL
Beacon is a team of ex-bankers & ex-trusteeship personnel, unified with the sole vision to provide efficient, transparent and turn around solution to all corporates raising – Debentures, Loans, AIFs. The ownership structure at Beacon, accounts for agility & flexibility through quick responses to any structured solution sought by clients. “Our clients get to enjoy 100 years of collective banking and structured finance expertise, infused in our solutions”, says Mr Nathani. This gives the Company a relevant advantage against peers – that have an employee-driven approach and lacking a structured finance experience with comparatively lower ownership towards the business.

Beacon also acts as a regulator of financial markets, for SEBI. Its duties are fiduciary in nature, and the focal point resides on due diligence i.e. when a company raises money in the debt markets, its rating actions, timely payment of its debt obligations, proper security cover and timely enforcement of security that’s offered as collateral for the debt raised by a company.

Beacon also has a committed legal and compliance team – An integral part of their business model. The team address all conditions precedent (CPs), and conditions subsequent (CSs) to each transaction to ensure, all transaction-related compliances are tethered on time. The practice further obviates unexpected consequences related to transaction compliances. Personal Relationship Managers handle each client with a dedicated periodic engagement matrix system.

MULTI PRODUCT CAPABILITIES
Beacon has a multiproduct capability to assist corporates raising capital resources in various forms ranging from debentures, loans, commercial papers, securitised instruments viz pass-through certificates (PTCs), financial escrows, and alternative investment funds  (AIFs). There is a specialised team for each of these products, who meticulously understand the client requirements and assists them in the execution of product-related transactions.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCIES
The durability of Beacon’s business model is extensively powered, by its technological advancements. Beacon has its own unique CRM, Business ERP, Client Billing, Securitisation systems that relieve them of any dependence on external vendors. Technology has been an integral pillar for Beacon since the beginning, and investing on it has rewarded them with robust platforms that stores client data and grants access to clients for their respective transactions.

MARSHALLED WITH VIBRANT PROFESSIONALS
“From passionate promoters to a dedicated team of employees, we have an experienced team of people working for you, who help shape our plans and strategic direction and make us what we are”, Beacon leadership team.

An ecosystem that started with only 3 innovative minds, presently sustains a team full of ingenuine people. From the 2nd year of its business, Beacon started earning reverence in its pitch. Keeping an eye on budget, the Company took in freshers – trained them and made them competent in handling business operations. The core team, on the other hand, focused on building diverse solutions, by leveraging on their past experiences. In the last 5 years, Beacon has built an ambience of collaboration and learning and sheltered the career of many aspirers.

The decision to build a freshers team – not only gave Beacon a financial advantage but also helped in formulating an efficient group, having a fresh outlook & perspective. To keep this team updated to industry trends and changes, they’re nurtured with a regimen of training programs on personality developments, trustee products, etc. The transparency between management and employees, gives everyone access to the leaders.  Focusing further on employees’ growth, Beacon has established a supportive associate firm – Beacon Payroll and Benefits, whose customized platform addresses actions related to HR, Payroll, Recruitment and periodic employee evaluation.

ADDRESSING UNCERTAIN CHALLENGES
“With any business, one does need to be ready and willing to face the brunt of uncertainties”, says Mr Vitthal.

Despite being a startup, Beacon is prepared to address any uncertainties. They are well-funded and have internal policies to handle affairs on regulatory changes from time to time. Adding to this, constant collaboration with every individual on deck, give an upper hand in dealing with unprecedented challenges. During the COVID period, Beacon switched to Work from Home to safeguard their stakeholders and ensure business continuity. On top of that, there weren’t any retrenchments and neither any salary cut-offs as well. Staying integrated, eventually helped in building a trustworthy relationship between the workforce and the management.

Later on – with time, and permission of the Govt., they incorporated flexible & rotational staff options. As things got better, Beacon hiked salaries and further reimbursed cabs for the workforce, further emphasising on safety.

ADVANCING IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS
When we started out with a new license, most competitors & some clients jeered at us & questioned our ability to compete with large institution backed trustees but in a short span, Beacon has exhibited sheer-will and focus through its services, and earned significant recognition in the financial markets”, says a cheerful Mr Nathani. The Company has been Ranked – 2 Debenture Trustee, by PRIME Database in no. of transactions and business volumes for F.Y.19-20. Adding to that, they are a favoured debenture trustee to several marquee names in the BFSI space. Beacon is also preferred for its products like AIF and Securitisation.

The myriads of achievement – has laid a path of gradual development for Beacon. In the words of the directors, Beacon is aiming for an Ontogenetic development. The Company is aiming to establish partnerships with International trustees – Companies having an international repute in the financial market. Beacon further aspires to grow roots in foreign physiologies having good business potential. “Our ultimate goal of Beacon – is to be recognized as the best Debenture Trustee, not necessarily in profit or growth but in terms of client satisfaction, Mr Nathani declares enthusiastically.

WORDS OF ENLIGHTENMENT FROM THE DIRECTORS
“If you’re burgeoning for entrepreneurship, create a product or service that alleviates a pain point of the customers. Bootstrapping is important to achieve new heights, and one should be exceptionally courageous; it helps in overcoming short-term hiccups. Build a goal-oriented team, ensure the integrity and focus on long term goals to develop your own place in the industry”.  

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