GERMANY – Belgium-based Dexia Asset Management is to open a new office in Frankfurt by June in a bid to win business from German institutional clients, industry sources said.

The Frankfurt-based sources, who asked not to be named, said Dexia had recruited Achim Gilbert from the German arm of Invesco to head the new office. Dexia AM in Brussels declined to comment.

However, a spokeswoman from Invesco confirmed that Gilbert, currently part of a five-member institutional sales team, would be leaving the firm by the end of March. She said Invesco did not know where Gilbert was going to.

In early January, Invesco said Gunars Balodis, formerly of Germany’s Deka Investment, had taken over as its German institutional sales head, replacing Rainer Schröder. Schröder joined Threadneedle Investments last July 1 as that firm’s new head of German distribution.

Dexia AM, with €90bn in assets under management, is the latest foreign asset manager seeking to win business in Germany’s institutional market. Others include Principal Global Investors, BlackRock and Crédit Agricole Asset Management.

The influx is being driven by the eagerness among German institutional clients to expand their choice of asset managers. In the past, these clients usually had their asset management done by their German Hausbank.

Another reason for the influx is the current boom in corporate pensions. That boom is being driven by an increasing willingness in corporate Germany to set up external funds to finance pension liabilities.

Separately, Standard Life Investments said it had recruited Gabriele Schlitt from Threadneedle for the new position of investment director.

Based in Frankfurt, Schlitt will offer Standard Life’s investment products to institutional clients in Germany, Switzerland and Austria - reporting to Heiko Dahse, the chief investment director who is based at the Scottish life insurer’s headquarters in Edinburgh.