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Hannover Re puts €3bn into foreign bonds

GERMANY - Ampega, the asset manager for German re-insurer Hanover Re, has confirmed that, on behalf of the re-insurer, it is awarding €3bn worth of investment mandates for non-European bonds.

"As our competence lies primarily in US and European bonds, we are awarding mandates for fixed income outside that. This means, for example, emerging markets, high yield or Australian bonds," said Ampega chief executive Harry Ploemacher, confirming information obtained by IPE. 

Ploemacher also said Ampega had hired Watson Wyatt to advise on the search for asset managers specialising in non-European fixed income. "We're also in touch with Mercer, but as yet have made no decision on whether to hire it as well," he told IPE from Hanover.

The Hanover Re mandate is one of the biggest for Watson Wyatt since it opened an office in Frankfurt last year. Torsten Köpke, a former senior consultant at Feri Institutional Advisors heads that office.

Mercer Investment Consulting opened its Frankfurt office in 2003 and since then has advised on around €7bn worth of mandates for asset manager searches.

News of Hanover Re's plans comes just two weeks after Ampega said it was merging with its counterpart at German insurer Gerling. The new entity, called AmpegaGerling Asset Management GmbH, is a result of Talanx's takeover of Gerling earlier this year.

From January 2007, AmpegaGerling will be based in Cologne and have €63bn in assets under management, €5.2bn of which are third-party assets. Ploemacher will take charge as CEO of the new entity.

Beyond US and European bonds and equities, Ploemacher said the new group's other competences would be private equity and absolute return products.

With annual contributions of €10bn, Hanover Re is one of Europe's biggest re-insurers. It employs 2,000 people, 800 of which are in its home base of Hanover.

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