NEW YORK - With U.S. pension executives reducing the number of money managers handling assets, Bankers Trust will be trying to position itself to capture part of the market for multiline managers with new products in the wake of its most recent restructuring.
"We're unique in offering them a broad range of products, from the quantitative to the passive spectrum, right to the traditional active - both domestic and international - right through to the more complex derivatives-based and most sophisticated investment techniques," said Ian Martin, the new global head of investment management.
The latest reorganization of Bankers Trust's investment management operations is not expected to affect the day-to-day activities of its U.S. operations.
The U.S. office under Frank P.L. Minard will continue to be responsible for the management of domestic products as well as marketing and service to clients, said Mr. Martin.
Mr. Martin, formerly the head of funds management at Bankers Trust Australia Ltd., replaced Ivan Wheen, who is moving to Singapore to head Bankers Trust's business strategies for Southeast Asia.
Mr. Martin will remain in Sydney; portfolio management activities in Bankers Trust's New York, Sydney and Tokyo offices will not be affected. Bankers Trust New York, which oversees $168 billion in assets, will be headed by Mr. Minard, who will join the firm when his contract as chairman and chief executive officer of Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management, New York, expires at year end.
Bankers Trust always had product, but it wasn't coordinating the client service and marketing to take full advantage of its breadth of offerings, said Mr. Martin.
The restructuring will integrate the manner in which products are presented to clients, regardless of where the client is located.
Investment management was originally run out of three different centers - Sydney, Tokyo and New York. Besides the assets based in the New York operation, Bankers Trust Australia manages $20 billion, while Bankers Trust Tokyo manages $7 billion, mainly in Japanese equity and fixed-income strategies.
Each office was run independently, which made sense when they were serving only clients in their own markets, said Mr. Martin. But with the business becoming increasingly internationalized, it made sense to pull the business strategies together, he said.
"My role it is to do just that," Mr. Martin said. "It's not as if we're going out and building investment capabilities from scratch....We're not talking about an upheaval in the way we manage money, we're talking about the way in which we package product and present it."
Bankers Trust expects to broaden its product offerings and invest in more client service capabilities, said Mr. Martin.
Also, the range of international equity products will be strengthened, particularly what Bankers Trust offers for U.S. institutions. For the most part, the news was well received by clients of Bankers Trust's traditional products.
"My sense has been that, from an internal perspective, passive products and quantitative things will return to more of a core focus and will get more attention from marketing," said Jeffrey States, director-investments of the $3.5 billion New Mexico Public Employees' Retirement Association, Santa Fe. "The more traditional products are at least going to be treated on a more equal footing."
The New Mexico fund has $1 billion in indexed assets under management with Bankers Trust, and Mr. States said the fund was satisfied with way those products were managed.