GERMANY - Allianz Global Investors, which had been selling funds to German institutional investors under the dbi brand name, will, from 2007, abolish that brand as well as the dit brand for its retail funds.

As a result, all AGI's German funds for will be sold under its own brand name. AGI said the move was due to the fact "that the institutional fund and retail fund businesses are becoming more intertwined".

AGI added that the move would involve neither job cuts nor a change to its German business model. The asset manager employs 1400 in Germany and has €175.2bn under management from that market, €82.1bn of which is in institutional funds (Spezialfonds).

Since the 2001 takeover of Dresdner Bank by insurance giant Allianz, the portfolio management teams for dbi funds and dit funds have gradually been combined. The brands dbi and dit were formerly used to describe Dresdner's fund operations.

"Of course, within the portfolio team, there are still the specialists for institutional funds and those for retail funds," said Markus Rieß, chief executive of AGI's new German fund unit.

Carsten Eckert, former head of dbi, remains on the AGI unit's board with responsibility for institutional business. The CEO of AGI as a whole is Joachim Faber, who is based in Munich.

Rieß said, however, that AGI was not planning to scrap other brand names for its institutional funds in favour of the AGI brand. AGI owns US-based bond fund specialist PIMCO as well as RCM, Nicholas Appelgate, Oppenheimer Capital and NFJ Investment Group.

"One reason is that in other markets like the US, there is a strong brand name recognition with say PIMCO among investors. The name Allianz Global Investors doesn't even come up," Rieß told a news conference this morning in Frankfurt.

Finally, AGI's German unit said that between January and September, its Spezialfonds had €5.6bn in net inflows, though its retail funds had slightly negative outflows.