News in Brief

Capita Hartshead has launched its new umbrella brand, Capita Hartshead Actuarial and Consultancy Services, bringing together its specialist pensions consultancy services. The launch follows that of Capita Hartshead Tracing Solutions. Kenneth Donaldson, director of actuarial services, and Malcolm Pearce, consulting and operational director, will head up the new services

Law firm Linklaters LLP has launched a service to provide clients with integrated legal advice on understanding and managing pensions investment risk. PensionsInvest has been set up in response to the increasing importance and complexity of investment issues for pension schemes and funds. More than 100 lawyers from the firm's global pensions, investment funds, derivatives, tax and insurance practices will be called upon by Linklaters to provide a strong service to clients.

Castlestone Management has launched a UCITS III-compliant version of its multi asset fund - the Intelligent Portfolio (IQ) Asset Allocation (UCITS) Fund. The new fund brings the advantages and performance of institutional style investing to investors in the UK and Europe, in a transparent and regulated wrapper.

Evercore Partners has acquired key assets of the Private Funds Placement Group of Neuberger Berman, which advises fund sponsors on all aspects of the fundraising process. The group has served as a placement agent to funds across a range of alternatives strategies. The business will operate as Evercore Private Funds Group, and Evercore expects the Private Funds Group to grow with a broader presence in the US, and expansion across continental Europe and the Middle East.

Asset management company, TOBAM, has recorded an additional allocation of 60 million Swiss francs from the Swiss Post Pension Fund (PK Post). The inflow follows an investment in June 2008 of nearly 120 million Swiss francs in TOBAM's anti-benchmark global equities strategy. TOBAM's assets under management rose by US$160million since December 2009, and stood at US$1.2bn by the end of January 2010.

SunGard has become the latest addition to LIMRA's strategic partnership programme, which makes product and services available to LIMRA member companies worldwide. The partnership follows SunGard and LIMRA's work together to develop key performance indicators for SunGard's iWorks EIM Analytics solution.

Third-party administration (TPA) and independent pension consultants, Michael Kirk & Partners Ltd, have rebranded and created a new financial group, Goddard Perry Consulting Ltd. The company, whose head office is in Croydon, employs over 35 staff and has projected turnover of £2.3million per annum.

Aviva Investors and Hadrian's Wall Capital have formed a strategic partnership to deliver a debt funding proposition for investment in infrastructure assets in the UK and Continental Europe. The proposition is also intended to facilitate the provision of further senior debt funding for infrastructure projects from the capital and other markets.

Hewitt Associates has chosen aquila's administrator software for its pensions administration services across Europe. The strategic partnership will see Hewitt will work with aquila to migrate the first UK clients onto the new system by the end of 2010. This will happen in parallel with wider European projects.

Financial Services community service provider, FusionExperience Ltd, has been engaged by Premier Asset Management to design and deliver a scalable, flexible and cost effective target operating model, which will support their fast-growing fund management business. FusionExperience has worked closely with Premier to design a bespoke target operating model, to support Premier's growth plans for the next five years. It has also been appointed to identify and implement their preferred service partner within the enhanced operating platform.

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (AMG) has agreed to acquire Pantheon Ventures from Russell Investments in a $775million cash deal, with the potential for additional payments over the next five years. Pantheon Ventures, a global private equity fund-of-funds manager, manages regional funds-of-funds in Europe, the US and Asia, currently amounting to around $22bn for over 300 global clients.

The CASAM ETF range has been rebranded as Amundi ETF, following its operational launch in January 2010. In line with the strategy, the Amundi ETF range, which comprises of 78 products, is managed by Amundi IS. The range is distributed by a dedicated CA Cheuvreux sales team, and by the Amundi sales teams.

International Asset Management Limited (IAM) is to expand through Southern Europe with the opening of a branch office in Spain, reinforcing its commitment to expanding its client base and enhancing the services it offers to clients in Iberia. Marivi Lorente will be general manager for the office, responsible for developing IAM's client base in Southern Europe and its relationships with clients across the region.

IT solutions provider Mastek is to tour Scottish Life and Pensions offices to help providers prepare for the new challenges raised by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). Mastek also hopes to gauge what providers intend to do pre-RDR, and the solutions they will implement after the legislation comes into force.

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (AMG) and the management team of Artemis Investment Management Ltd (Artemis) have struck an agreement to purchase 100 per cent of the equity of Artemis from Fortis Bank S.A./N.V., a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Group. The deal will see AMG own a majority equity interest in Artemis, and the Artemis management team will also acquire a substantial equity ownership, and continue to direct the firm's day-to-day operations.

The world's first third-generation exchange traded fund (ETF) platform has been boosted with the addition of Barclays Capital to the already-confirmed line-up of BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi and Rabobank International. ETF Exchange, the world's first third-generation ETF platform, has added Barclays Capital as an authorised participant and swap provider. It offers a total of 21 equity ETFs, comprising Europe's first platform of resource-equity ETFs and double leveraged and double short ETFs.

Principal Investment Management, independent financial adviser Almary Green, and the Skandia Investment Solutions platform have joined forces to launch a risk-graded managed portfolio service to clients. Six model portfolios, invested by Principal Investment Management, will be offered by the service, covering a range of risk portfolios from cautious to adventurous. They will be based on a "realistic assessment of a client's attitude to risk", said Carl Lamb, managing director at Almary Green.

Members of the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) have agreed to further enhance supervisory cooperation with the Swiss insurance supervisor, based on a 2005 Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement follows changes made in 2009 to the Swiss institutional framework on financial supervision, and CEIOPS members now formally recognise the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) as a legal successor to the former Swiss Federal Office of Private Insurance (FOPI).

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