NETHERLANDS – Bob Doll, president and chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, has spoken of the “halo effect” its deal to manage €12bn of Philips pension assets could have for the firm.

He said there had been lots of other interest following the deal, announced in April, that could lead to “add-on business”.

He told IPE that the firm was in talks that could lead to further asset management mandates in the Netherlands, though he declined to be specific. And he said the firm would “find out over time” whether the deal was a success.

And he said the terms of the deal itself meant it was “a very good one” for the firm - though he wasn’t able disclose how much the New York-based firm paid for the business. He denied it was a “loss-leader” for MLIM.

Doll admitted that he wasn’t closely involved in negotiating the deal. European institutional head Andrew Dyson said he was involved in that effort, which began in November 2004 and entailed a 200-page RFP.

Moving to the firm’s relationships with investment consultants, Doll said it had an “interesting dialogue” with them. He saw a “tricky set of relationships going forwards”.

The comments followed Merrill Lynch’s second-quarter earnings report, which revealed that MLIM’s assets under management had fallen 2% to $478bn. It said the decline was mainly due to $2bn in net outflows “attributable to short-term institutional liquidity products”.

MLIM's second-quarter pre-tax earnings rose 9% to $121m on revenue that was up 6% at $404m.

Meanwhile, MLIM says it has hired Robert Schlichting as its new senior institutional sales manager for Germany, effective this October 1.

The appointment comes two months after MLIM said Frank Richter, its former institutional sales director for Germany and Austria, was stepping down to join rival AXA Investment Managers.

Schlichting, 35, joins MLIM from the German arm of JP Morgan Fleming, where he is institutional client advisor for the German and Austrian markets. MLIM has $3bn in assets under management for German and Austrian institutional clients.