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Ms. Lakshmi Iyer

Chief Investment Officer ( Debt ) & Head Products

Kotak MF

Ms.Lakshmi Iyer has been with the Asset Management Company since 1st April 2000. From 2000-2006 Lakshmi was performing the role of a fund manager where she was responsible for credit research as well as deal execution, managing fund performance across all debt funds and assisting sales in client interaction where required. From September 2006 till September 2008 she was Heading Products where her primary responsibilities were product related initiatives, product pricing and coordinating with the funds management and sales team in the role of a portfolio specialist. From September 2008 till date she is heading the Fixed Income and Products team. In her earlier stint, from November 1997-October 1999 in Credence Analytics Pvt Ltd. she has also worked as a Research Analyst where she was tracking corporate bond markets in India and generating research reports. She was also instrumental in conceiving various financial software tools for Indian markets through effective liasoning with software and technical team at Credence.

1. What would you say to investors who are skeptical of debt funds in recent times?

Answer: Every asset class goes through cycles. Fixed income too at this juncture is witnessing Issues emanating from some sections of the credit market. One however cannot paint the entire canvas with the same brush. The debt category has provided solutions to investors with varying Investment tenure and will continue to do so. Hence while making investments, one should be Strictly adhere to the intended time horizon And not get carried away by excessive noises. Stay the course is what I would say to the investors now.

2. A lot of corporate papers have been rated lower in recent months. How has this impacted the debt funds?

Answer:Some of the downgrades were already anticipated and markets had already priced it in. Hence it did not make a material difference. In cases where the downgrades were steep or sudden, the prices of such bonds would have Seen a dip (rise in yield) and hence the NAV of such a scheme would have reflected the mark to market loss. It is important to note here that every downgrade need not mean a default.

3. What is your process for selection of debt instruments and what due diligence do you conduct on corporates?

Answer:The investments we make are subject to Multi level process which starts from idea generation to Making the final investment. Apart from doing the quantitative checks on the companies financials, we also do lay emphasis on qualitative aspects including promoter background, business fundamentals, industry outlook etc. Meeting the company management pre and post Investment on a periodic basis Is also an integral part of our process.

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