UK- Threadneedle Asset Management, part of the Zurich Financial Services Group, has taken a 29.9% share in the multi manager Attica AM. Attica retains overall control of the company but the deal with one of Europe’s mid-sized investment managers will boost its distribution network.

Threadneedle’s commitment also brings with it useful investment in Attica. Guy Davies, co-manager of the institutional division, says: “multi management is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and we don’t want to miss out on any available opportunities. We want to make sure we’re fully resourced to allow us to exploit those.”

It also enables Threadneedle to enter what is an increasingly popular investment approach in the UK and Europe. Says Threadneedle chief executive Simon Davies: ‘we believe that the marketplace for Attica’s products is one of the most attractive segments in the asset management industry.”

Attica was previously part of the consultants Mercers and only received approval for its funds at the end of 2000. Its business is split into an institutional division, run by Davies and Derrick Dunne, and an alternative products division run by Tony Robinson and Glenn Baggley.

It recently signed a deal with Mercer Investment Consulting that offers smaller UK pension funds a combination of consulting and asset management. Its alternatives division recently entered a joint venture with LJH Global Investments to offer hedge funds to institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

To date the manager has invested £100m and has commitments of nearer £250m.