T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services, the institutional marketing/sales arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Baltimore based US investment manager T. Rowe Price, has received IMRO approval to begin rolling out its operations from the group’s London headquarters.

The decision has set the touch-paper for the marketing of T.Rowe Price funds in Europe - beginning with a raft of six Luxembourg based Sicavs to be launched in April.

The group will also build a presence in a number of European markets by opening offices in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and Italy – a move facilitated by the groups acquisition of the 50% of the Rowe Price Fleming joint venture it did not own from Chase Fleming.

Thomas Pedersen, heads up the Global Investment Services team – a large part of which were brought over from Dresdner in the last few months - as managing director for institutional sales.

He comments: “ The Luxembourg Sicav structure, which we will launch in late April, early May will consist of four different classes of shares in each of the strategies.
“ There will be a global aggregate bond product, a European corporate bond product, a high yield bond fund, US large cap blue chip, US small cap and global emerging markets funds.
“ These are the first six funds, but what we aim to do is have 28 to 30 funds in the next couple of years representing the strongest capabilities of T. Rowe Price globally, not just in the US, because we have fantastic Asia figures, for example.”

Pedersen says the group has already selected a global custodian to the funds but declined to name the company for the time being, bar noting that it is one of the bigger players.

The group will be looking for third party distribution relationships on the continent and says it has already identified a couple of potential partnerships.
“ We are going to start pushing for business in Europe, particularly in the Nordic countries because that is where we have superb client contacts,” he notes.

Pedersen, along with Stephan Matter – responsible for institutional sales and third party relationships in Europe – will drive institutional sales in Germany and Switzerland and Pedersen hints that they will be looking at opportunities in Holland also.

“ We also want to open up more satellite offices like the one we have in Copenhagen. I think we will do something in Geneva or Zurich, Holland will probably be covered from London at this stage, but we will also probably open up offices in Madrid and Milan.”

Pedersen has also been interviewing potential additions for the firm’s office in Copenhagen to assist Flemming Madsen, responsible for institutional sales in the Nordic countries.
“ Going forward we should also have an office in Stockholm, but that probably won’t be until next year,” he adds.

Business prospects for the new group, he believes, are healthy: “ We have done a substantial number of presentations and the reception we have had has been unbelievable. “ I think the market needs a new kind of manager, which has a lot of consistency in everything they do.
“ This company is 63 years old and has always been a self-owned institution, it’s an S&P500 firm with a lot of clout and we have had the same investment philosophy, processes and staff retention for many years.”