GERMANY – Credit Suisse Asset Management’s German institutional assets under management have risen 15.9% to 4.21 billion euros in the first half, compared to the previous year.

The rise was partly due to strong demand for three of its funds, the firm said at an event in Frankfurt.

As at June 30 the number of institutional investment mandates rose to 36 from 33 during the 12-month period.

“After two to three difficult years, Credit Suisse Asset Management in Germany has finally reached the turn-around point,” said Hansjörg Herzog, chief executive of CSAM.

Herzog attributed the growth in institutional assets in part to strong demand for three CSAM funds, namely a convertible bond fund, a European balanced fund and a “target return” bond fund. The winning of a passive investment mandate also contributed to the growth, he said.

For the full year, however, Herzog doubted that CSAM would achieve double-digit growth. “I don’t expect us to repeat our first-half performance in the second half,” the CEO said.

“There is a lot of uncertainty among German institutional investors about the direction of financial markets and the global economy for that matter, so they are very cautious right now.”

According to Herzog, CSAM’s biggest institutional clients in Germany are Sparkassen (German savings banks) as well as co-operative banks. The second biggest group of clients are German foundations and religious institutions, followed by smaller insurers.

“We are not satisfied with our business in the occupational pensions industry, so that’s something we’re going to work on,” he said.

Separately, Claudia Blumenthal, head of CSAM’s mutual fund division, said the asset manager had no current plans to launch a hedge fund for the German market.

“German market conditions are such that launching a hedge fund right now would not be ideal. However, we are reviewing the possibility on a daily basis,” said Blumenthal.

Since the start of 2004, the domiciling and direct sale of hedge funds has been permitted in Germany for the first time in its history. According the German fund association BVI, net inflows to German-based hedge funds totalled 792 million euros as of July 31.