UK - Fidelity Investments is to launch a major assault on the defined benefit market, focusing on both fixed income and liability mandates.
The drive will begin when First State Investments head of UK institutional business Martin Harris joins Fidelity as managing director, UK defined benefits, in November.
He will report to Fidelity president, UK and European institutional business, David Stewart. Harris’ appointment completes Fidelity’s institutional management team and once on board, he will be responsible for the DB business. Stewart was previously in charge of the firm’s UK DB business and retained those responsibilities when he was promoted to his current position in September 2001.
Stewart believes the appointment of Harris will see Fidelity make a major push in the DB market. The firm is currently developing a suite of products for the fledgling liability mandates market, using equities, fixed income and derivatives.
Fidelity has also been bolstering its fixed income capabilities over the past two years and has won a number of scheme mandates. Stewart says Fidelity will focus on both areas moving forward.
He said: “In Martin we have someone with a lot of experience, particularly in the specialist arena, but I want very much to drive the liability benchmark area that we are developing on the investment side. I want this to be developed among the customer base.”
Stewart said the specialist manager is making its move in light of its declining balanced business and demands from clients.
He said: “We’re in the specialist market and obviously we’ve got a tail of balanced business that is unwinding, which presents its challenges. Suddenly instead of running the whole mandate, Fidelity just runs a bit of it. We’ve got to grow up, face up to that and move forward with what the trustee wants.”
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