UK – Schroders saw net institutional outflows of 2.5 billion pounds (3.6 billion euros) in the first half of 2003, mostly due to the shift from balanced to specialist mandates.

“Overall net outflows of institutional funds were 2.5 billion pounds, down from 4.4 billion pounds in the first half of 2002,” the fund management firm said in a statement.

“The bulk of the net outflow of 1.8 billion pounds in the UK in the first half was the result of the continued restructuring from balanced to specialist mandates.” The 199 year-old firm said that balanced mandates now represent less than seven percent of the funds it has under management.

It saw an outflow of 1.4 billion pounds from its Americas business though net business gains in continental Europe were 0.8 billion pounds.

The firm’s underlying asset management profit fell 30% to 32.6 million pounds from the prior year period’s 46.8 million pounds. Schroders’ overall pre-tax profit rose to 27.2 million pounds from 20.5 million pounds.

Total funds under management fell to 90.4 billion pounds from 100.2 billion pounds a year ago.

The firm said it plans to launch a single dealing platform by the end of the year. This would allow dealing decisions to be implemented at the same time and cut transaction costs. The system would also enable portfolio modelling and automatic pre-trade mandate checking to be conducted across portfolios.

“We have seen net new business gains in the first half of the year, although we remain cautious about fund flows for the year as a whole,” the group said.

Schroders also has said that 22-year veteran fund manager Humphrey van der Klugt is to retire on January 31 2004.

Meanwhile, rival Britannic Asset Management said new business from pooled pension funds was “slightly down” in the first half, compared to a year ago. But it said its international institutional arm was “behind target”.

BAM’s focus, it said, “is to continue to improve fund performance whilst seeking out new higher margin business opportunities”. Achieved operating profit of four million pounds compares to an operating profit a year ago of six million pounds.