Money is his friend and friends are his assets Arun Agarwal Fund manager SBI MF Young Guns

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youngguns1A medium built person, with specs on his eyes, and a great vision to achieve something in life he is Arun Agarwal how now is the Fund manger of India’s top Mutual Fund SBI Mutual Fund. He is Fund manager of SBI MF Arbitrage fund and index fund. So many people who are reading might have invested in these funds but who even cares to read who the fund manager is when always there is the ad, “read offer documents properly before investing”.  To become a fund manager is not an effortless job. He has loads and loads of money, which he needs to handle and see at the same time that investors get dividend and the NAV has growth. We could invest in one stock and go in loss but here a fund manager has to repeatedly look at the portfolio and change day in day out according to the market trend. The SBI Arbitrage fund has a fund size of Rs.610 crores and the SBI Index fund is of Rs.20 Crores. 

Arun started managing the SBI Arbitrage fund de facto from October 2006 to date and the magnum index fund from February 2008 to date. 

arunagarwalArun Agarwal did his schooling from St.Marys high school and passed out in 1989, he then Joined Gogte College of commerce for his bachelor’s in Commerce. His goal in life was set; he had to become a Chartered Accountant.  He did is internship for CA at A S Dixit & Co. Belgaum and passed the exam to become a CA in Jan 1998 at the first attempt. 

He worked in UTI Mutual Fund for 8 yrs in internal audit then debt dealing and then joined in SBI Mutual Fund as head of dealing and fund manager for Arbitrage fund and index fund. 

Arun is very simple person who is down to earth and always witty and naughty. To him life is simple and he likes to take it as it comes. He was very famous amongst his friends in college as the wittiest person and at the same time intelligent as well. He participated in the youth festivals and won laurels for his

Mutual Funds managed by Arun Agarwal


Absolute returns (in %) as on Jul 24, 2009


Scheme Name

NAV Assets






(Rs. cr.)


SBI Magnum Index Fund (G)








25 / 28

SBI Arbitrage Oppor. Fund (G)







22 / 20



Some excerpts of his interview


  1. To layman who is fund manager?

Firstly, you should understand what a fund is. It is pool of money put in by various investors for some common purpose and as per the objective of the fund. The person who looks after the investment part (i.e. the assets in which the Money is to be invested) is a fund manager.

 2. Arbitrage Funds have outperformed other equity-oriented funds. More importantly, they have given positive returns. Is it a good time to invest in arbitrage funds?

Arbitrage funds are market neutral funds that are meant for every buy transactions there is a sell transaction in the futures market of the same quantity. It plays on the spread between the cash and futures market, hence in a bearish market or flat market, it tends to outperform the equity mutual funds.

 3. Since Arbitrage Funds give returns in line with debt funds, how much should an investor allocate (as a percentage) to arbitrage funds vis-a-vis his/her fixed income portfolio?

As the Arbitrage fund returns, are similar to debt funds but being tax efficient a person can allocate say 15-25% of the debt mutual fund portfolio to Arbitrage funds but should also take care that the Arbitrage market is not a big market, hence is lot of money starts chasing the Arbitrage funds, the returns will be hampered.

 4. What are the distinct benefits that SBI Arbitrage Opportunities Fund offers to its investors?

The prime benefit of any Arbitrage funds is that they invest 65% of their money in equities hence the return of Arbitrage funds are tax free if kept for more than a year as per the current tax regulation.

 5.  What should Investors keep in mind while investing in Arbitrage fund? Any advise that you would like to give to investors.

They should not expect extraordinary returns from Arbitrage funds the returns would be equal to your liquid fund returns. 

6. Is it good to go in for SIP for an Arbitrage Fund?

 Can compare fund to fixed deposit kind of investments hence sip may not be such a great idea as compared to equity funds.

 7. Any, suggestions to investors in general for making mutual fund investments?

Mutual funds are highly tax efficient instruments to invest money, further money is handled by professional people at a miniscule fee, so persons with idle funds should always park their money with mutual funds, debt or equity depends on the risk taking ability of the person.

 8. Narrate some interesting incident good or bad during your career till date?

 There are lot of incidents but difficult to put them in black and white.

 9. Your thoughts on the upcoming talent in Belgaum & how one can groom oneself being here.

 I have not come much to Belgaum in last 10 yrs hence I may not be able to comment on the same objectively, but based on my experience when I was in Belgaum and compared to people around I feel Belgaum has a lot of honesty, sincerity and politeness in the people of Belgaum.

 10. What is the best thing about Belgaum you miss?

 The best things I miss about Belgaum is its quite environment and great food especially the idly of Ajanta café and sol kadi being sold at pan shops.

 11. Best place you like in Belgaum? 

Hotel: Ajanta Park: Mahadev mandir, well: congress well at Tilakwadi.


12. What are your hobbies or what keeps you happy when not working?

 To be very honest whenever I have time I watch TV or go for movies in the weekend hence as such do not peruse any hobby as such.

 13. What do you think about this website?

One of the finest website to know everything about Belgaum.


Friends Speak:
 Anand (Vice President & Branch Manager HSBC)

Arun (Lalya as we call him) a true tribute to friendship. I know him for 20 years now. One great thing he does not expect anything from anyone neither does he have the fuss to try and show that we cares too much et al. As a friend, no hangups no goody goody talks; Clear straight talk. We shared and loved the Sheetal alipak & Ras, the Sol kadi, the pav bhaji, bhel the pan masala and have course Deshmukh road. While we know each other for 20 years, it was the first 7/8 years we were together at Belgaum. Nevertheless, it all feels like yesterday.

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