NETHERLANDS – ABN Amro Asset Management’s staff numbers fell almost 10% in 2004 amid a levelling off of assets under management.

The number of full time employees at the unit to 1,919 at the end of 2004 - down 9.7% from the end of 2003.

Assets under management were €161bn at the end of last year – down 0.6% from the end of the third quarter of 2004 but up 3.2% from the €156bn posted at the end of 2003.

It said the dollar’s movement in the fourth quarter of 2004 had a “significant” impact on assets under management. At constant exchange rates, AUM would have been €4bn higher at 165bn, it said.

The bank said net quarterly profit at the unit rose 42.9% to €30m with revenues up 23.2% at €175m.

The group has created a separate legal entity to encompass all its asset management activities, called ABN Amro Asset Management Holding NV.

It said: “The incorporation generates legal and fiduciary benefits for the BU AM Business Unit Asset_Management including cost savings, greater transparency in client relations and increased cost control.”

Overall the bank posted a 33% rise in net income to €1.14bn.

“We achieved very good results in 2004 despite the mixed developments in the markets in which we operate,” said managing board chairman Rijkman Groenink.