UK- Standard Life Investments has defied flat market conditions and issued encouraging first half results. The subsidiary of the life insurer registered sales of £1.7bn in the six months to May, up 42% on the same period last year.

Total assets at SLI rose £5bn to £80bn in the first half of the year, despite what the group called “flat market conditions.”

Third party assets under management rose 15% from £9.6bn to £11bn, an increase driven by new mandates such as the £220m segregated property portfolio recently awarded by South Yorkshire Local Authority.

Sandy Crombie, chief executive of SLI, said they are continuing to expand with a number of key appointments. In April Rod Paris joined as head of global fixed income from Merrill Lynch and Neil MacPherson joined in May from Citigroup as head of European Business Development.

In March the group transferred its Asian assets (ex-Japan) to Hong Kong and recently opened up in Boston. In the past year, it has launched a number of private equity funds.