09 July 2012
Friends Life today announces the launch of Friends Life Investments (FLI), the Group's new in-house asset management business with £6 billion of assets under management. The launch of FLI ahead of schedule will enable the business to leverage its existing investment capability, investment strategy and asset liability management and will support the growth of core product areas, such as annuities and, in time, more of the assets of the wider Group's five million customers worldwide.
The initial focus for FLI, a 100% owned subsidiary of the Friends Life Group, will be to manage the Group's existing fixed income assets in respect of annuity liabilities, shareholder funds and assets backing other non-profit liabilities. FLI aims to capture additional assets under management by the end of this year and further investment classes will be considered as the business grows.
Since its inception nine months ago, Friends Life Investments has built a team of 15 under Chief Investment Officer, Mark Versey, Head of Fixed Income, Michael Wright, and Director of Asset Management Operations, Andrew Brown. In January 2012, Friends Life recruited the award winning fixed income portfolio management team from Liverpool Victoria Asset Management led by Michael Wright and comprising John Hampton, Purna Bhudia and Nigel Bradshaw.
The management of FLI will continue to grow the breadth and experience of the team through further recruitment as additional assets are recaptured in the coming months with management intending to grow the team to around 20 by the end of 2012.
Andy Briggs, Group Chief Executive of Friends Life said:
"The launch of Friends Life Investments marks a significant development for our business as we continue to deliver on our stated strategy for 2012 and beyond. It is also a further important step in our continued drive to reduce costs across the business as we will now manage our own assets at lower costs than paying asset management fees to third parties. The intention is for this new company to complement our existing investment expertise across our business and is evidence of our strategic focus in the UK."
Mark Versey, Chief Investment Officer of Friends Life Investments, said:
"We have recaptured over £6 billion of assets on day one and we have ambitious plans to transfer further sizeable assets during 2012 and beyond. The build and launch of a new asset management company of this scale in under a year is a tremendous testament to the quality of the teams led by Andrew Brown and Michael Wright. We will now look to rapidly expand and create further cost synergies as FLI grows its assets under management."
Mark was appointed Chief Investment Officer of Friends Life Group in September 2010 and has responsibility for the oversight of the Group's assets. He has been instrumental in the creation of Friends Life Investments and will continue as Managing Director of the new business.
Andrew Brown has over 26 years experience within the asset management industry. He is currently the Director of Asset Management Operations for Friends Life Investments and was recruited to lead the start up programme and the ongoing operations of the firm.
Michael Wright has around 25 years experience of managing fixed interest assets. In 2011 the LV Asset Management fixed interest team headed by Michael won the Lipper award for the Best Small Bond Group. Michael has extensive experience of managing both retail and institutional funds and as a qualified actuary and has extensive knowledge of the UK life and pensions industry.
The existing Friends Life Asset and Liability Management team will continue to have oversight and control over non unit linked asset management suppliers including: governance of suppliers, investment policy, strategic asset allocation and management of exposure to financial risk from the asset portfolio.
- Ends -
|Contact name||Company||Contact number|
|Peter Webb||Friends Life||0117 989 3615|
|Barnaby Fry||MHP Communications||020 3128 8100|
|Simon Hockridge||MHP Communications||020 3128 8100|
Friends Life provides pensions, investments and insurance for over five million customers. Our key business lines are corporate benefits, individual protection and retirement income.
Friends Life is part of the Friends Life Group plc.
Our heritage dates back to 1810, with Friends Provident being founded in 1832 to help alleviate the hardship of Quaker families facing misfortune.
Other brands in the Friends Life group include:
www.twitter.com/FriendsLifeTalk. To follow Friends Life twitter page on your mobile, simply text "follow FriendsLifeTalk" to 86444 (UK only)