HITCHEN, England -- The National Mutual Life Assurance Society has outsourced nearly L2 billion ($3.36 billion) in equities to external money managers. Management of its L1.4 billion in bonds, property and cash will continue to be managed internally.
Sources believe it is unprecedented for a U.K. insurer to outsource the majority of an internally managed operation. National Mutual offers personal pension products sold entirely through independent financial advisers.
Starting Oct. 1, each of National Mutual's equity-related funds will have both active and passive managers; the proportion of active and passive elements will vary depending on the risk of the respective fund.
State Street Global Advisors won the entire passive mandate, worth L1.25 billion.
J.P. Morgan Investment Management won the largest active mandates: L525 million in U.K. equities and L50 in U.S. equities. Goldman Sachs Asset Management was picked to run a L90 million European equities portfolio and a L20 million Far East (ex-Japan) portfolio. Schroder Investment Management won a L20 million Japanese stock mandate.
Bacon & Woodrow assisted.
Baer Group to merge domestic, international lines
ZURICH -- Julius Baer Group is merging its Swiss and international institutional business lines next year.
The move will place Leo Schrutt, now head of the Swiss institutional asset management business, at the top of the combined structure. He also will join the bank group's management committee.
Julius Baer manages about $20 billion, of which about two-thirds is Swiss-sourced. Most of the rest is run out of London-based Julius Baer Investments Ltd., and less than $1 billion is managed out of its Frankfurt office.
The step also provides an orderly transition, as Peter J. Widmer, head of the international institutional business, will retire March 31. Helmuth Saurer will continue in the institutional business as chairman of Julius Baer Asset Management Ltd., the Zurich-based business, and will also take on additional duties at the group management committee level.
Global custody alliance set in S. Africa
JOHANNESBURG -- State Street Bank and Trust and Nedbank have launched a global custody alliance to provide global and domestic custody services to South African institutional investors.
Services will include multicurrency fund accounting, portfolio valuation, performance measurement and analytics, compliance monitoring and online information delivery systems.
Mercury offers pools to Chilean funds
LONDON -- Mercury Asset Management is pitching pooled funds to Chilean pension funds.
The London-based manager has announced it has registered 23 of the 30 subfunds in the Mercury Selected Trust, the first time MAM has offered the investment pools in the Americas.
The offering reflects strong demand for international products by Chilean pension funds, said Stephen Cohen, managing director of Mercury's international investment funds.