For Bal Krishen, it has always been the bigger picture that mattered.
The visionary Chairman & CEO of UAE-based Century Financial, a pioneering investment firm in global financial markets, has helped the brand expand over three successful decades of growth. Now, under his helm the company has embarked on a major diversification journey that covers financial services and technology-related sectors.
While speaking to the Corporate Icons team in an exclusive interview, Krishen says, “It is good to be ambitious and see the big picture. However, innovative ideas and lofty vision are meaningless if not followed up by action.” Proving his stand, Krishen is happy to state that despite the rigours brought upon regional and global financial markets by the pandemic, Century Financial continued to be on a growth trajectory, setting up two new divisions, Century Private Wealth and Century Bank Brokers.
Curated service offerings
Century Private Wealth, a bespoke wealth and asset management company operating under the Category 3C License regulated by the DFSA, focuses on two primary business activities, asset management and wealth management. “The asset management arm is currently in the final stages of launching our first hedge fund, aimed at serving professional clients with a unique investment strategy,” says Krishen.
The private banking & wealth management wing of Century Private Wealth is more bespoke, allowing valued clients to opt for select services that are Advisory, Discretionary or Execution only. Century Private Wealth hopes to make a mark by offering unbiased and independent advice to clients based on their risk profile and investment preferences.
As a promoter of Century Bank Brokers, Krishen, with the help of his team offers a curated portfolio of retail and commercial banking solutions through partnership with banks, non-banking finance companies and other financial institutions.
Diversification is key
As part of its expansion strategy, Krishen is engaging partners at the firm and relevant authority bodies to diversify the company’s interests into the KSA and GCC markets. “We are also working on a sharia-compliant Investment service for the GCC,” reveals Krishen.
All this also entails a firm push into the technology realm to meet the niche needs of his valued clients, with Century Financial’s Innovation Lab a step in the right direction.
Tech in the mix
“We set up the Innovation Lab to understand and implement use of tech to provide end-to-end investment solutions to clients,” says Krishen. Enhancing the overall customer experience using AI/Machine learning and other technology tools.
New initiatives covering e-commerce and delivery apps as well as apps for sports and entertainment-related applications, are also being overseen by the Chairman.
Giving back to society
Ever a keen supporter of CSR, Krishen practices philanthropy with active participation in charitable initiatives across the UAE and his home country in India.
In the UAE, Krishen spearheads the Health, Wealth & Happiness CSR initiative, that has been supporting blue collared workers in the UAE over the last five years.
In India, Krishen oversees the activities of Divine India, an NGO that helps the needy and promotes human welfare. Working towards the upliftment and development of underprivileged sections of society, Divine India’s mantra is 3Es – Education, Employment and Empowerment. Divine India is currently into skill development and training of the youth, while helping them with job opportunities in the UAE and in India. “After all,” says Krishen, “help matters when it’s needed the most.”