EUROPE – Institutional mandates went up 18.6% at Dexia’s asset management arm in 2005, driven in part by new mandates from pension funds.

“Asset management achieved a strong year in 2005,” the group said. “Volumes reached €90.6bn at year-end, up 26.8% (or €19.1bn) on the previous year, under the effect of a significant organic growth (€12.1bn) but also of a positive market effect (€7.0bn).”

Mutual funds were up 30.3% on the back of resumed appetite from both retail and institutional clients.

It said: “The increase in volumes of discretionary private mandates was 21.5%, and institutional mandates went up 18.6%.

“In this latter category, the growth of new business stemmed from different sources: insurance activities within Dexia; new mandates from pension funds; new mandates from local and government authorities; mandates from financial institutions.”

Asset management revenues rose 4.8% or €9m.

During the year Dexia opened new sales offices in Milan, Madrid and Rotterdam to develop business with institutional clients.

Staff increased by 67 in 2005 and total assets under custody rose 17.4% to €409bn.

Overall, Dexia reported an 11.9% increase in net income to €2.05bn. “This year again, Dexia’s results have been excellent,” said chief executive Axel Miller.