EUROPE – Allianz Global Investors has founded a subsidiary in Luxembourg from which it plans to bolster its European presence, especially where investment funds are concerned.

The new subsidiary will be called AGI Europa and headed by Elizabeth Corley. It will coordinate distribution of investment funds for the European market. An AGI spokesman said she “could not confirm” that the unit would also produce and domicile investment funds.

Many German asset managers, including DekaBank and DWS, have set up units in Luxembourg both because it is a tax haven and because investment fund regulation is lighter than in Germany.

With the new Luxembourg subsidiary, AGI chief executive Joachim Faber said the asset manager aimed to raise investment fund assets from Europe ex-Germany to €100bn.

“Until now, we have concentrated on our home markets of Germany and the US, but from 2006 we are pushing into other markets,” Faber told the business daily Handelsblatt.

He added that by focusing on other markets, AGI had so far missed the chance of being “twice as big” in Europe as its US rival Fidelity Investments.

However, the spokeswoman said AGI could not yet disclose its European investment fund assets. “We plan to do so in London during our annual news conference next March,” she said.

As of September 2005, Fidelity’s investment funds in Europe had taken in €76.1bn in assets.

Faber also told Handelsblatt that AGI would have almost €1bn in operating profit in 2005. In the long term, he said it aimed to raise operating profit by 10% per annum.

The brainchild of Faber, AGI includes dit and dbi of Germany, PIMCO, RCM, Nicholas Applegate, NFJ, Oppenheimer Capital and Allianz Hedge Fund Partners.

AGI has around €1trn in assets under management, making it the world’s second-largest house after Switzerland’s UBS judging by this measure. Around 60% of its assets are from institutional clients and another 40% from private investors.