DeAM takes over E24.7bn Zurich assets

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GERMANY - German institutional fund manager Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM) will take over 24.7 billion euros in assets currently held by the German arm of Swiss insurer Zurich beginning next January.

As a result of the move, DeAM said its assets under management in Germany would rise to almost 70 billion euros. This would put it just behind Allianz Dresdner Asset Management, Germany’s leading institutional fund manager with 75.6 billion euros in assets.

The move follows a cooperation agreement signed on October 4 whereby Zurich is outsourcing management of all its German institutional assets to DeAM.

A spokesman for DeAM said, however, that the insurer would maintain control over the investment guidelines for the assets. He added that ten investment specialists from Zurich would be joining the asset manager in Frankfurt as part of the cooperation between the two.

All in all, the spokesman said the cooperation would provide DeAM with “additional expertise in managing assets on behalf of insurers and pension institutions”.

ADAM was decidedly unimpressed by the surge in DeAM’s German assets. Joachim Goldbrunner, ADAM chief executive, told a German newspaper that it was “neutral” in terms of competition between his firm and DeAM.

Goldbrunner said the real competition for all asset managers was in the maturing German pensions industry as well as for new business from Sparkassen, Germany’s publicly owned banks.

“The Sparkassen are beginning to look beyond their own fund managers (who are part of DekaBank) and show interest in those outside,” he said.

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