IRELAND – Bank of Ireland’s asset management and securities services business posted a pre-tax profit of 125 million euros for the year to the end of March, an 11% rise over the previous year.

The Bank of Ireland said the improvement was aided by the contribution from US arm Iridian Asset Management and “good revenue and cost management” at Bank of Ireland Asset Management.

BIAM’s assets under management have risen 35% to 57.5 billion euros from 42.7 billion euros a year ago.

It said: “The improvement in global equity markets during the year has positively impacted on the value of assets under management in BIAM and Iridian. “BIAM continued its successful geographic expansion with significant appointments particularly in the UK and Japan.”

It added that Bank of Ireland Securities Services made a profit of 36 million euros on the sale of its share of the alliance it operated with State Street. The unit “continues to perform well” - though no figures were disclosed.

The bank said that Watson Wyatt has made a “preliminary financial assessment” of the 3.1 billion-euro Bank of Ireland Staff Pension Fund as at March 31.

It added: “The assessment discloses that there is effectively equivalence between the actuarial value of the net assets and the value of the benefits that have accrued to members.”

Under FRS17, the net liability has fallen to 332 million euros, from 681 million euros a year ago.

Overall, the bank reported an eight percent rise in annual pre-tax profit to 1.27 billion euros. 'This was an excellent result based on delivery against our strategic goals of growth and efficiency and driven by strong performances in all of our divisions,” said group chief executive Michael Soden.