Friends First Asset Management fuses with F&C

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IRELAND – European asset management group F&C is to integrate the money management business of Irish financial group Friends First into its own operations, in a further bid to consolidate the investment management strands of its insurance firm parent Eureko, which bought F&C in May this year.

John Cunningham, general manager for group planning and marketing at Friends First Asset Management, says that in real terms, the firm’s asset allocation with regards to equities and property will all still work out of Dublin, but notes that there will be “active participation” with regards to the management of international and European equities.

“All the decision making will not be taken from London. But in terms of managing European equities for Irish institutions, there will now be a transition period where we will be integrating with the F&C team on our European equity portfolios.
“ The constructive benefits of the deal are that we go from being an e4.5bn asset manager to being part of an e110bn asset management group.”

The firms international equities are managed by Friends Ivory and Sime.

Ruth O’Bríain, chief investment director of Friends First Asset Management, who will continue to head up the Dublin operation, comments: “There is now a new force in the Irish investment management industry. Irish pension funds and investors have been diversifying their portfolios and looking increasingly for international expertise in the management of their assets. We will now offer the best of local client service and market knowledge together with the global investment expertise of one of Europe’s largest pension fund managers.”

Headquartered in London, F&C has local offices in Amsterdam, Lisbon, Boston and now Dublin.

The integration is subject to regulatory approval.

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