GERMANY - State Street Global Advisors' German arm says it took in €1.9bn in new assets during 2006, around half of which came from new institutional clients, notably pension funds.

The inflows helped lift SSgA's total assets under management (AuM) in Germany and Austria to €16.5bn in 2006 from €13.4bn in 2005.

Of SSgA's total AuM for Germany and Austria, €12bn is invested in institutional funds. The €12bn figure makes it one of the leading institutional asset managers in the market, rivalled only by the fund arms of Goldman Sachs and UBS.

Klaus Esswein, head of SSgA's German arm, also said pension funds continued to rank as the asset manager's biggest client, accounting for 60% of the €12bn.

"Even with the new inflows, we're seeing that pension funds, including CTAs (new corporate pension funds), are the biggest part of our institutional business," Esswein told a news conference in Frankfurt today.

SSgA is well-known in the German market as a specialist for passive equity and bond strategies, and the portfolio managers for these strategies are based in Munich.

But Esswein said that beyond this competence, "we're seeing that our enhanced strategies are arousing interest among an increasing number of (German) institutional investors".

As an example, he cited a €300m enhanced equity mandate SSgA won last year from the Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK). BVK is Germany's largest pension fund with more than €30bn in assets.

Separately, IPE has learned that the hedge fund advising team quitting Feri Institutional Advisors (FIA) is joining Prime Capital Asset Management, a new German provider of hedge funds and other absolute return strategies.

Frankfurt-based Prime Capital was launched in February 2006. With the addition of FIA's former hedge fund team, it will see its total staff increase to around 20.

The FIA team is made up of five hedge fund specialists, including team leader Werner Goricki, who was formerly an FIA managing director.

The one remaining hedge fund specialist at FIA has been put under the responsibility of Bernd Kreuter, another FIA managing director who was formerly only in charge of private equity advising.

IPE understands, however, that FIA has found replacements for the hedge fund specialists who are leaving.