Issue: Dear Mr. Gerard Colaco, congratulations on winning an award in the Karnataka Association of Mutual Fund Advisors (KAMFA) Convention. You fully deserved it and wished you were present to collect it.
Mr. Gerard Colaco: Sorry to disappoint, but I do not believe in awards at all! I was also not informed in advance that I had won any KAMFA award. Had I been, I would have politely declined it and the next Individual Financial Advisor (IFA) would probably have been given the award in our place, with our good wishes.
My allergy to awards is shared by the venerable Mr. Reginald Aranha, my cousin and partner of Colaco & Aaranha for the last 27 years. We prefer to be low-profile and publicity-shy. Let me tell you about one particular kind of award that I accept.
Some years back, an NRI client of ours had come down to Mangalore on his annual holiday. He was immediately assaulted by various salespeople from the insurance, mutual fund and stock brokerage outfits. During one call from a mindless tele-caller from a stock brokerage casino, he was asked whether he was dealing with any stock broker. He replied: “Colaco & Aranha.”
The salesperson then asked him, “Do you know what brokerage they are charging you?” The client replied: “No.” The tele-caller told him: “One percent.” The client replied: “So?” The tele-caller said: “Do you know that this is perhaps the highest in India?” The client’s reply was: “Even if Colaco & Aranha charges me two percent, I would still go to them.”
Now that I consider to be an award from the only category of ‘judges’ rightfully authorised to give my firm any awards. During our career, we have been privileged to receive these awards with undeserved and slightly unnerving regularity!