IRELAND - Hibernian Investment Managers, (HIM) one of the five largest asset managers in Ireland, has split its fund management business between Ireland and the UK.

The management of international equities will move to Morley Fund Management, the London-based fund management arm of Hibernian’s parent company, Aviva.

Other investment management activities, including asset allocation, fund management of bond portfolios, Irish equities, Irish property and specialist equity portfolios, as well as marketing and client servicing will remain in Dublin.

This follows a strategic review by Aviva of HIM’s fund management business, which has almost €7bn assets under management.

HIM’s current chief investment officer, Martin Nolan, has been appointed managing director-designate. He will replace Tony Joyce, managing director of HIM since January 2002, who is retiring from the Hibernian group at the end of this month.

Roy Asher, head of bonds, will take over from Nolan as chief Investment officer.

Martin Nolan said: “This is a great vote of confidence in the Irish asset management operation, and the terrific team built up over many years. The decision to retain the business and a significant number of jobs in Ireland is good for our clients, and I hope will also be good for competition within the Irish asset management industry”.

HIM’s Irish back office operation will also be transferred to Morley in London: “Since HIM’s existing IT systems needed considerable investment in order to match industry leading requirements, the review also concluded that for the long term efficiency of the Irish operation back office activity should be transferred to Morley in London,” Nolan said.

HIM said it was in discussions with the Amicus-MSF trade union about job losses, and that some of HIM’s Dublin-based staff would be redeployed or offered voluntary redundancy or early retirement.