GERMANY - BHW Invest, a German institutional fund administrator, has confirmed that it is now partially owned by retail banking giant Postbank.

Launched in 2002, BHW Invest is a joint venture between building society BHW, private bank BHF-Bank and trade union-linked investment company BGAG.

The three partners each owned a third of BHW Invest, which is a specialist in so-called master funds. In a master fund, back office administration is centralised to reduce costs and boost transparency.

Hans Jürgen Dannheisig, managing director of BHW Invest, told IPE that as part of its takeover of BHW, Postbank would get BHW’s one-third stake.

He said that the partial sale would have no effect on its management team.

In addition to Dannheisig, who is responsible for sales and marketing, the team includes Ulrich Kaffarnik, who is in charge of portfolio management and operations.

Dannheisig added that he did not know what were the intentions of BHF-Bank and BGAG with regard to their BHW Invest holdings.

The Financial Times Deutschland reported this morning that BGAG planned to sell its stake in BHW Invest but did not identify the buyer.

Dannheisig said the partial sale to Postbank was very positive for BHW Invest. “Postbank has more than 15m clients,” he noted. “This means that there is very promising investment fund business for us.”

According to Dannheisig, BHW Invest administers €2.2bn in assets from institutional clients, including pension funds, and acts as an administrator for €800m worth of investment funds.

The partial sale of BHW Invest to Postbank comes almost a year after it emerged that the fund administrator was to be sold. As IPE reported last December, the original buyer was to be EDS, the US-based information technology giant.

However, the deal fell through earlier this year after Postbank began courting BHW.