NDB Wealth Management leads Sri Lanka’s asset management industry

Sri Lanka’s asset and wealth management industries are growing. Prabodha Samarasekera, CEO of NDB Wealth Management, explains how the company is helping to drive the country towards a more service-orientated economy


A new virtuous cycle is driving Sri Lanka’s growth at breakneck speed. Known for its exquisite blue sapphires, tea gardens and beautiful beaches, the country is being transformed thanks to growth in six key sectors: aviation, maritime, knowledge, tourism, commercial and energy. The country is in overdrive. With the transformation of the economy, driven by these six sectors, banking sector assets have grown more than 50 percent in the past four years, while the formal asset management sector experienced explosive growth due to a rapid increase in funds under management, as well as the number of new service providers entering the fray.

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka have come out in full force to support the asset management industry by offering generous tax incentives, helping to create market awareness and introducing the speedy regulatory changes necessary for asset growth. The mutual fund industry, which is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, for example, has issued many new licenses: the number of mutual fund managers has tripled and their assets under management have quadrupled in the last four years. The underlying asset markets, specifically government debt and corporate debt markets, have grown in breadth and depth due to the liberalisation of these markets, which has allowed foreign investors to enter directly or through mutual funds.


approx. banking assets in Sri Lanka

Market leader
NDB Wealth Management has taken the lead of Sri Lanka’s asset management industry, and has the largest asset base under management. It also leads the mutual fund industry, with around 30 percent of the industry’s total assets. It has over 20 years of experience, superb research capabilities, world-class systems, high standards of client service, and has earned a reputation as the leader in the asset/wealth management industries in Sri Lanka.

In recent years, the wealth management industry in Sri Lanka has evolved, and the strong presence of the retail banking industry is being complemented by wealth management products and securities trading to offer banking clients comprehensive financial solutions.

NDB Wealth Management has been the catalyst for this growth in Sri Lanka, driving the convergence process between retail banking and capital markets by joining its NDB group retail banking and securities trading units with its wealth management arm.

Positive numbers
Total banking assets in Sri Lanka are estimated to be at around $46bn, while the total wealth management industry, including mandatory government provident funds and insurance fund assets, adds up to around $10bn.

With the high expected GDP growth rates, it is forecast that Sri Lanka’s per capita GDP will reach $4,000 by 2016, giving a further impetus to the convergence model which NDB Wealth Management has pioneered in the country.

NDB Wealth’s private wealth management service has shown remarkable growth in line with Sri Lanka’s rapid economic growth. The sale of wealth management products has been made easy due to high-net-worth clients having the requisite knowledge, wealth and appetite for risk, while the affluent retail market is gradually being inducted into the concept of wealth management via low risk and highly liquid money market accounts.

A decade of growth
Ultimately, Sri Lanka, with its prime location at the centre of the East-West trading route, is expected to enjoy tremendous growth in the next 10 years with the evolution of the six key sectors mentioned above. This growth will accentuate the speed at which the structure of the economy moves towards a more service-oriented system, in which financial services will represent an important vertical. NDB Group, together with NDB Wealth Management, envisions being at the centre of Sri Lanka’s financial hub, helping to lead its growth