EUROPE - Citigroup has launched a European Insurance and Pension Structured Solutions group (IPSS) to be based in London.
The team of 20 professionals, headed by Wiltrud Heiss who joined Citigroup from Deutsche Bank in 2003, will offer advice in capital raising, derivative structured products and structured finance, along with actuarial, accounting and risk management modelling advice.
The launch of the team has come at a time when both the pension and insurance industries have started to react to the recent regulatory and accounting changes that affect the level of risk portfolios can be exposed to.
The team therefore expects its client base to come mainly from those countries most affected by changes to EU regulations, namely the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
Francis Fernandes, heads actuary for pensions, said although the team was split almost 50/50 in terms of expertise between pensions and insurance, in many cases such a split was merely academic since both industries are equally affected by the same legislation (the FTK system in the Netherlands being the most notable example).
The team’s second in command is Paul Schutlz, while the head actuary for insurers is Ian Maybury.
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Malcolm Mclean says getting the channels of communication right and engaging more openly is a good starting point