GERMANY- Siemens Financial Services’ investment management division in Munich is now offering asset management to third party institutional clients. The focus will be on domestic business, particularly for pensions assets of other corporates, says Wolfgang Lotze, head of investment management at SFS.
Siemens KAG, formed in 1992, manages €9bn of assets for Siemens, including the group’s pensions trust and a range of mutual funds. “We are bringing our 20-years of experience as money managers to the marketplace,” he says.
SFS recently recruited Rainer Beutler, as head of institutional sales, from Lazards, where he was developing institutional business within Germany and Austria.
“This is a very important step for us,” says Lotze. “We have been out talking to clients about our distinctive approach. We reckon we have an excellent background, which we are now ready to share this with other pensions sponsors.”
“The reaction from potential clients has been very positive,” says Beutler. “Our top down, risk adjusted method is something they really like. And they appreciate our transparent approach so they really understand how it works.”
Lotze says: “Our natural clients are industrial clients and their pensions assets, though we are not limiting ourselves to those clients. Many of these are Mittelstand companies, with perhaps as much as €1bn in pensions provisions.”
These companies based all over Germany will not always be comfortable when talking to international money managers, he points out. Between 80 and 90% of German corporates have some business dealing with the Siemens group.
SFS will be offering Spezialfonds through the KAG and be willing to act in an advisory role to Spezialfonds its clients may already have. SFS will not be forming its own Pensionsfond, but expects to have arrangements to provide these vehicles with another financial group.
The SFS range of ‘no load’ mutual funds, managed by the KAG, are being offered to Siemens employees. Later these will also be available to other employers. But Lotze is adamant that the group will not go into the retail funds market. Riester pension products are being developed through the insurance company.
SFS is working closely with Siemens’ successful Innovest asset management operation in Austria, which runs pensions and other money there. He hopes to be able to offer Innovest funds in Germany shortly.
The SFS Pensions Advisory operation has already made inroads into the third party marketplace, providing asset liability management studies and other pensions-related services.