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Privatised AGF ventures out

In its first foray into asset management outsourcing, French insurance giant AGF has awarded a clutch of mandates worth Ffr2bn ($340m).

And it has already launched another search for fund managers to look after a further Ffr2.5bn of assets.

The next mandates will be in the investment areas of global high-yield bonds and hedge funds. An AGF spokesman says these will probably also be divided up into a number of smaller mandates, but options are still being studied.

Of the appointments already made, Schroder Investment Management in London and Templeton in Singapore each won an emerging markets equities mandate worth Ffr375m. Schroder also captured a Ffr250m European small cap stocks mandate.

UK fund manager Henderson Investors was appointed manager of a Japanese smaller companies portfolio worth Ffr250m. William Garnett at Henderson Investors will manage the portfolio for AGF, with Malcolm Callaghan as client services director.

Credit Suisse Asset Management in London and Fischer Francis Trees & Watts in London each won a Ffr300m franc global fixed-income portfolio to manage. A Ffr250m mandate to look after a US small cap stocks portfolio went to Massachussets Financial Services Institutional Advisors in Boston.

AGF was advised by Cambridge Associates. It’s a new strategy, because we have some very good asset managers in-house, but in some sectors it may be a good idea to take the expertise available outside,” an AGF spokesman says. “If we can get it at a better deal, then we should do it.”

AGF announced when it was privatised last June that it would search for external asset managers. But the amount of assets so far farmed out is still small in relative terms. AGF has around Ffr200bn under management in total.”

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