Hill Samuel prepares for single currency
LONDON -- Hill Samuel Asset Management Ltd. is merging its U.K. and European equity teams in the prelude to a single European currency.
While development of pan-European equity teams is a hot trend in continental Europe, Hill Samuel is ahead of the pack in Great Britain, which has been much slower to embrace the concept of a single currency.
The move is "more sort of a cultural change than a detail and practical change," said Rob Page, marketing director for the London-based manager.
U.K. and continental European equity mandates still will be managed separately, for regulatory and other reasons, he said.
"We're quite a way from having a single Europe," he said, but combining research capabilities will help develop the right culture.
The move was also accelerated by the departure a few months ago of Grant Collins, head of the U.K. retail equity team, who joined Salomon Brothers International Ltd., London.
David Kiddie, now head of European equities, will oversee Hill Samuel's pan-European team. Heads of the U.K. and European equity teams, who will report to him, will be named shortly.
MSCI World climbs 1.6% for month
NEW YORK -- The Morgan Stanley Capital International World Index crept up 1.6% in dollar terms in November, while the MSCI EAFE index fell 1.1%. The MSCI Emerging Markets Free Index dropped 3.7% for the month.
Among developed markets, Singapore led the pack with a 9% rise. Malaysia trailed with a 21.3% decline.
Among emerging markets, the Mexico Free index climbed 9.7%, leading the pack. Last-ranked Korea's market tumbled 25%.
Royal & Sun hires Midland for custody
HORSHAM, England -- Royal & Sun Alliance, Horsham, hired Midland Securities Services to provide custody for L30 million ($50 million) in externally managed assets of two units, Sun Alliance Pensions and Sun Alliance Linked Life Insurance. Midland succeeds Barclays Global Securities, which was acquired last year by Morgan Stanley, said David Riggs, investment administration manager.
The selection follows the life insurer's selection of Midland last spring to provide custody for L130 million ($218 million) in externally managed assets of Royal Heritage Life Assurance. Custody of those assets had been handled in-house.
Towers Perrin to acquire Dutch actuarial firm
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands -- Towers Perrin will acquire Dutch actuarial firm Bureau Hammer, Rotterdam, effective Jan. 1, boosting Towers Perrin's share of the Dutch benefits and insurance consulting practice. Terms were not disclosed.
The merged firm will have two offices in Amsterdam and one in Rotterdam, and will employ about 130 people.
Separately, Eddy Bannet has been named head of Towers Perrin's asset consulting services in Amsterdam. He succeeds Gert Verheij, who has joined Cap Gemini Business Consulting in Utrecht as a business consultant working on investment technology issues. Mr. Bannet previously was an account manager at MeesPierson Capital Management B.V., Amsterdam.
Caisse des Depots hires Frank Russell
PARIS -- Caisse des Depots et Consignations has hired Frank Russell Co. to provide performance measurement for its custody clients. The Paris-based institution has more than 3 trillion French francs (U.S.$520 billion) in assets under custody. It claims it is the first French-based custodian to provide this level of performance attribution.