UTRECHT, The Netherlands - AMEV Nederland N.V., is considering changing its domestic custody arrangements for its 8 billion Dutch guilders ($4.9 billion) in Dutch securities.
Job Schipper, manager, custody at KBW Effectenbank, a 100% owned AMEV subsidiary, said domestic custody currently is handled by KBW, ABN-AMRO Bank and Kasassociation, all based in Amsterdam. Northern Trust is the global custodian. AMEV officials referred calls to Mr. Schipper.
While not commenting on what move AMEV might take, Mr. Schipper noted custody is supposed to be one of three major lines of business for KBW.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The 7.3 billion Belgian franc ($213 million) Voorzorgskas voor Geneesheren, Tandartsen en Apothekers vzw, hired Aetna Investment Management (Hong Kong) to manage a 685 million franc ($20 million) Pacific Basin ex-Japan equity portfolio.
The Belgian Pension Fund for Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists is expected to hire next a Japanese equity manager for a mandate of undetermined size.
Pragma Consulting was the consultant.
LONDON - "Private label" investment products are on the rise in Europe, according to preliminary results of a survey by InterSec Research Corp., London.
The survey, which will be completed by early March, found that in about half of 16 European countries, at least 20% of responding money managers had outsourced some part of their investment management.
In some countries, up to 40% of respondents had outsourced some element of investment management.
InterSec also found a significant proportion of appointments were for foreign-based managers.
Stephen Oxley, a vice president with InterSec, said financial institutions are outsourcing part of their money management because clients increasingly ask for products the firms can't provide themselves.
In general, the demand comes from the retail sector, in particular from private clients and mutual fund clients.
Mr. Oxley added some firms are outsourcing "as a method for putting a toe in the water," and might later provide such services internally if there is a sufficient demand for the product.
The survey, which is sponsored by U.K. and U.S. financial institutions, will identify the types of institutions that have outsourced and that intend to do so in the future.
It also will analyze the structure of the private-label business, including size of expected appointments, their mandates, benchmarks, fees, investment vehicles and other issues.
Governance review under way in France
PARIS - French Sen. Philippe Marini has been charged with developing proposals to simplify France's antiquated company law.
His recommendations, which are expected to be completed by June, could lead to an overhaul of French corporate governance rules for both publicly listed and closely held companies.
As Mr. Marini explained in the official French Senate publication: "(Finance Minister) Jean Arthuis asked me to review various issues involving the functioning of companies, the development of financial markets and investors' information."
In particular, Mr. Marini is expected to push forward corporate governance principles spelled out in the Vienot report, which earlier this year called for a revamp of French corporate governance rules.
In particular, Mr. Marini may focus on issues such as directors' liability, the number of board seats an individual could hold, voting rights, rules governing annual meetings, and disclosure to investors.
Mr. Marini is no newcomer to the corporate governance arena. He has been very active in the Senate, proposing bills requiring more disclosure for stock option plans, adoption of the European Union's investment services directive, and various tax reforms.
HONG KONG - Crosby Asset Management in Hong Kong signed an agreement with BancBoston Capital for investment in private companies in Asia. Under this agreement, BancBoston Capital will invest $10 million in Crosby's Greater Mekong Capital Fund, and will allocate an additional $40 million for investment in future Crosby funds or investments. BancBoston Capital will open a new operation in Hong Kong that will be headed by Rob Higham, now a senior director of BancBoston Capital in London. He will assume his new post in January.