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Fortis Investments’ profit and AUM rise 7%

BELGIUM/NETHERLANDS – Fortis Investments has posted a seven percent increase in both net operating profit and assets under management in 2003.

Parent company Fortis said net operating profit at the asset management arm rose to 53 million euros.

Assets under management rose to 78 billion euros, with net inflows of 4.1 billion euros. Staff numbers at the end of 2003 were four percent higher, at 661, compared to 633 at the end of 2002.

The group’s information banking unit now has 450 billion euros in assets under custody while the Prime Fund Solutions arm now manages more than 1,400 funds worth a total 60 billion euros.

The information banking unit has set up a new legal entity to “cluster all global clearing activities” to facilitate more international stock and derivative transactions.

In the insurance market, Fortis said its employee benefits division saw a 12% rise in premium income. Traditional products rise six percent, flexible products were up 28% and collective unit-linked life insurance and early retirement pensions were up 23%.

Overall net profit in 2003 rose fourfold to 2.2 billion euros. “We had a good performance in a year that started poorly with a weak economy and low stock markets, that ended well,” said chief executive Anton van Rossum.

The company also said that Jaap Glasz will retire as joint chairman and that Maurice Lippens will be sole chairman from May 26.

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