BELGIUM - Singer and Friedlander Investment Management (SFIM) and its Belgian partner, Bank Corluy Effectenbankiers, are launching their first institutional pooled pan-European small cap vehicle to European pension funds.

Singer & Friedlander will provide the investment management to the Belgian Sicav, while Bank Corluy will take care of the administration and initial marketing to Belgian and Dutch pension funds.
Eventually, SFIM is expecting to start wider European marketing of the product.

“ There is a growing demand by Belgian and Dutch pension funds to invest in small caps. “ A pooled small cap SICAV will attract those investors who have so far not taken advantage of the opportunities out there because there has not been a suitable pooled fund,” says Peter Dencik, director and head of the institutional division at SFIM.

SFIM is expecting clients mainly from the Benelux countries, UK and Scandinavia - especially from Finland, where the investment manager has had talks with undisclosed potential customers: “ They seem to prefer pooled vehicles up there,” comments Dencik.

Unusually, the investment, administration and custodian functions are split across different providers, with State Street Bank Europe acting as custodian. The splitting of functions pre-empts new legislation by the Belgian Banking Commissioner due to come in a year’s time.

Another new development is the appointment of an external non-executive director, a position which will be filled by Philip Neyt, director of Belgium’s Belgacom Pension Fund.