Consolidation continues in the Belgium market with the set up last month of Cordius Asset Management from the asset management divisions of Paribas Bank Belgium and Bacob Bank. The new company manages Bfr240bn.

It will only focus on one thing and that is asset management. Our one source of income will be asset management fees," says Hugo Lasat, the chief executive officer of the new concern. Lasat adds the pension funds and mutual funds will be two key areas of growth and that the company's strategy is to take its market share of the Belgian pension fund business to between 10% and 12% from its current 7%.

The new entity with a staff of 65 people will have 7% of the mutual fund market, 6% of guaranteed funds and 30% of passive management market although the latter market is small, with Lasat saying that the group will mainly focus on active management.

The group is 50% owned by Paribas Bank Belgium and 50 % by Bacob Bank which are themselves forming a new concern known as Artesia Banking Corporation."