FINLAND - Following the merger of financial services group Sampo (formerly Sampo-Leonia) and Mandatum Bank, the new company is fusing its asset and fund management businesses to create one of the largest institutional asset managers in the country.

After a series of regrinding, the current asset management entities, Mandatum Omaisuudenhoito (formerly Leonia Asset Management) and Mandatum Varainhoito are to be merged in the next few months.
The investment fund arms of the two groups; Sampo Fund Management and Mandatum Fund Management, will keep their current names after the integration.

“What is going to be left in the end is, asset_manager Mandatum Omaisuudenhoito and Sampo Fund Management, which will include the current Mandatum Fund Management. “ In the future, one fund manager will provide both Mandatum and Sampo funds. We are working on this and I believe it will take several months,” says Kimmo Laaksonen, managing director of Sampo Fund Management.

The current 52 fund products are going to be looked at, says Laaksonen, with some likely to be fused together, while the investment strategy of other funds might change to create a wider fund selection.

“All the portfolio managers and analysts on the asset management side will work under the integrated asset management company and the fund management and marketing staff will be in the fund management firm.” Laaksonen adds.

Sampo and Mandatum already co-operate with several foreign companies, especially in fund management, says Laaksonen.
They include Dresdner RCM, Deutsche Bank, Franklin Templeton in the US and Swiss outfit Lombard Odier.
“We have out-sourced fund management in areas that we feel we are not experts in,” Laaksonen notes.

The combined Sampo group has around FIM13bn (e2.2bn) in investment funds under management and a total of FIM40bn in assets under management.