Friends Life hired Schroder Investment Management to manage £12.2 billion ($20.3 billion) of multiasset and equity portfolios for its U.K. business, said a spokeswoman for Friends Life.
The portfolios were previously managed by F&C Asset Management, the spokeswoman said; the contract with F&C runs until October. Friends Life regularly reviews its funds and third-party managers. Schroders, she said, was appointed as a result of this review process.
Schroders, which has £262.9 billion of assets under management, will take responsibility for the Friends Life portfolios, which include pension fund assets, beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We have always focused as a priority on insurance companies and the development of strategic relationships,” said Nicolaas Marais, global head of multiasset at Schroders, in a telephone interview. “Besides Friends Life, we have seen strong growth in the insurance sector. That is pleasing.”
Mr. Marais said strategic partnerships are a “key part in general of how we do multiasset,” because the money manager has moved away from “product push mode and more into linking ourselves very closely to very large investors and then becoming a partner. The only way we can do that is if we are flexible in how we design solutions and what we offer. Sophisticated investors want to adjust (investments) according to what they want,” he said.
Multiasset strategies accounted for £52.3 billion of assets under management as of Dec. 31, according to Schroders' 2013 annual report, published this month.