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Invesco recruits Wendt in Germany for pensions advance

GERMANY - Invesco's German arm has recruited Thomas Wendt as its new specialist for pensions business. The appointment is effectively immediately.

Wendt, 41, replaces Christof Quiring, who joined Fidelity's German arm on October 1 as its new head of pensions sales.

Wendt was formerly at Universal-Investment, a leading German fund administrator, where he an institutional sales manager. Like Quiring before him, he reports to Gunnar Balodis, the institutional sales head for Invesco Deutschland.

Quiring's biggest achievement at Invesco was building its business with so-called ‘overtime accounts'. The accounts enable employees to save, on a tax-deferred basis, the monetary equivalent of overtime hours, unused holiday, cash bonuses or part of salary to finance retirement or time off work.

During Quiring's tenure, Invesco won mandates to set up and manage overtime accounts at the German operations of aircraft maker Airbus and its parent EADS.

Including those from Airbus and EADS, Invesco said it had a total of 15 pension mandates. As of September, it had $5.5bn (€4.3bn) in German institutional assets under management.

Separately, Germany's fledgling hedge fund industry has taken a hit with the abolition of three fund-of-hedge funds that were domiciled in the country.

The German arm of ABN Amro Asset Management said it was scrapping its fund-of-fund both because of sluggish demand - assets totalled just €16m - and over-regulation.

Hans-Jürgen Schäfer, managing director of ABN Amro AM, told Germany's Börsen-Zeitung that as transparency requirements in Germany limited the investment horizon for fund-of-hedge funds, it was difficult to achieve attractive returns.

Meanwhile, Cominvest, the fund arm of Germany's Commerzbank, said the termination of two German fund-of-hedge funds was related to the recent insolvency of US brokerage Refco.

As reported by IPE, the government plans to relax restrictions on German hedge funds in a bid to invigorate the industry. Prior to the abolition of the funds, there were 44 German hedge funds with around €2.5bn in assets.

In other news, Allianz Leben, Germany's biggest life insurer with €120bn in assets, said today it "could imagine" raising its exposure to equities to 25% soon from near 20% currently.

Allianz Leben also said it would raise its private equity exposure to 3-4% of assets in the next few years, while keeping investment in corporate bonds and other higher yield products between 5-10%.

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