Danish pensions and investment consultancy Kirstein is splitting into two separate companies as it launches an investment management business.

The new company Spektrum Fondsmæglerselskab (fund brokerage) came into being on 1 September as an affiliate of Kirstein.

Spektrum will advise and manage portfolios for institutional investors. Kirstein founder Jesper Kirstein will be its chief executive, Andreas Weilby its chief operating officer, and former governor of the Danish National Bank Bodil Nyboe Andersen will become chairman of the board.

Kirstein, meanwhile, will continue to advise Danish and international asset managers, the firm said. Anne Mette Lytzen has been appointed as its chief executive, and Jan Willers its COO.

Jesper Kirstein told IPE the main reason his company had decided to split into two in this way was to enable it to be seen as an alternative provider of balanced mandates and project work alongside the main asset management firms.

“We feel that as an investment management company we can approach investors we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to,” he said.

As things stand, some of the largest investors, for example Danish local authorities, have not seen Kirstein as an alternative to traditional asset managers when putting investment mandates out to tender, he said.

“The move also makes it easier to communicate our different value propositions to the clients and avoid misunderstandings of our interests,” Jesper Kirstein said.

In future, Kirstein will only advise asset managers, he said.

“It’s better for potential conflicts of interest, even though we have addressed this problem before with the code of conduct we wrote, which was signed by the board,” he said.

Kirstein used to, among other activities, advise small and medium-sized institutional investors on investment strategy and selection of managers.

Most of Spektrum’s clients will be Danish, but the new firm will continue to pitch for Nordic business outside Denmark, Jesper Kirstein said.

“Denmark is our main priority,” he said.

Spektrum has 12 staff and is providing on-going advice for portfolios with a total value of €4.4bn, the firm said.