Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments, the investment arm of Europe’s largest mutual insurer, has signalled its intention to move into the European marketplace with the appointment of Neil McPherson as head of European business development.
McPherson joins Standard Life in July after 23 years with Citigroup where his last role was European director of Citigroup Asset Management’s global retirement services group.
At present, Standard Life operates in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong and the US but lacks a presence in continental Europe.
McPherson, working with the investment directors Heiko Dashe and Barry MacLennan, will lead the European business development team that will predominantly target institutional clients. Dashe and MacLennan have been working on marketing products in Europe since last Autumn.
James Aird, head of business development, says the decision is in anticipation of increased institutional business in Europe. “Europe is going through some very profound demographic pressures and this is putting strain on the ability of the PAYG systems to stay solvent.
“If you look at the work of various consultants, you see that there is going to be a dramatic growth in the level of funded pension scheme provision in the next ten to twenty years.”
The parent company Standard Life has been working on growing its business recently in Germany. Aird says other markets of particular interest are Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland.
Standard Life is one of the UK’s larger investment managers with assets of £75bn (e119bn) under management.