UK - Spanish Santander Asset Management has created a UK asset management arm following the firm's acquisition of British bank Abbey National

Former Insight Investment analyst John Bearman, who quit in July last year, will head Santander's UK investment team and will add its European equity activities to the equities group run by Elena Eyries, a spokesman confirmed.

The institutional market will be an important focus for the new operation, a spokesman for the firm told IPE.

The asset management companies that will be incorporated into Santander AM UK are Abbey National Asset Management, Inscape, Abbey National Multi Managers and Abbey National Unit Trust Managers.  All in all with a total staff of 260.

The integration of the companies has been already agreed with the Financial Service Authority.

Santander said it is "the first Spanish asset manager to compete in terms of resources with the largest players in Europe and the world".

Worldwide Santander Asset Management has €150bn in assets under management.