UK insurer launches asset management business

Business_launchFriends Life Group, the UK's fifth largest life and pensions company, has launched a third-partyasset management business and awarded it £6 billion (€7.5 billion) of funds tha were previously managed externally.

Friends Life is the fifth largest UK insurer with five million customers and £111 billion of assets managed mostly by external fund managers.

Its newly launched asset manager, Friends Life Investments (FLI), is set to capture other assets from the parent company and plans to gain other clients as it develops the business.

The initial focus for FLI, a 100% owned subsidiary of the parent, will be to manage the  group's existing fixed income assets related to annuity liabilities, shareholder funds and assets backing other non-profit liabilities.

Since its inception nine months ago, FLI has built a team of 15 under Mark Versey, chief investment officer, Michael Wright, head of fixed income, and Andrew Brown, director of asset management operations. The management intends to grow the team to 20 by the end of the year.

In January this year, Friends Life recruited the four-strong fixed income portfolio management team from Liverpool Victoria Asset Management led by Michael Wright.

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