MUMBAI: Far from the brutal world of Wall Street, Vikram Pandit has no qualms in admitting that "trust, once broken, takes a long time to restore." "... We may have solved the financial crisis and restored the confidence and the capital but there is a trust part," he muses on a sunny morning in Mumbai, probably trying to put behind the excruciating last few months as head of Citigroup, the encounter with an unforgiving US Senate panel and the unceremonious exit.
Today, as he dabbles throw any crushingly complex algorithm at him and he would happily solve it. And in the three years since leaving the go-go world of structured products and high finance, Pandit has bounced back by bonding with numbers, financial puzzles and analytics. Only this time around, he is not teaching them to undergraduates or using them to design derivatives. Instead, he is backing companies and managements that specialise in data sciences and financial technology as a savvy investor.
Financial services, under three broad buckets, remain his focus - credit intermediaries like NBFCs, fin-tech and advisory firms specialising in analytics and operations technology. Pandit, 58, refuses to give granular details of the volume and value of his bets or the identity of his co-investors as they are mostly in the private domain. But his strategy is simple. He raises several single-purpose pools of capital from sovereign wealth funds and pension funds and that supports bankable platform.