Aviva sells off SRI funds to Alliance Trust

Aviva Investors is selling its £1.2bn Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) funds to Alliance Trust Investments. The transfer, which concerns seven Oeic funds, is set to complete by early 2013.

The Aviva Investors SRI team, headed by Peter Michaelis, is moving to Alliance Trust Investments, where it will continue to provide investment advice for the current SRI funds under an investment-advisory agreement. Each of the funds will be managed with the same investment objectives and same investment process.

Katherine Garrett-Cox (pictured), chief executive of Alliance Trust, described the deal as ‘transformational’ and told Reuters the price was ‘fairly modest’. She said: “It injects £1.2bn of assets under our umbrella… It’s a significant addition to funds under management.”

Alliance Trust last month started restructuring its portfolio management, consolidating regionally focused funds into a global portfolio.

Paul Abberley, interim chief executive Aviva Investors, said: “The transfer of our SRI team to Alliance Trust Investments will facilitate a seamless transition of responsibilities and ensure consistency is maintained in the investment process.

“In January this year, Aviva Investors decided to focus its business on areas of existing competitive strength, which includes fixed income, multi-asset solutions, real estate and core equities. As a result, the decision was taken that a new institutional home should be found for our dedicated SRI capabilities.”

Ed Troughton, managing director of Alliance Trust Investments, said: “Securing this highly respected SRI team led by Peter Michaelis underlines our future growth strategy of focusing on global equities and fixed income with an emphasis on specialist investment opportunities. It is also further evidence that we are rapidly carving out a reputation as one of the UK’s leading specialist investment houses.

“The skill set of the SRI team perfectly complements our current approach in both global equities and fixed income. These three core parts of our business will now allow us to design tailored, specialist, investment solutions for our clients – both at the fund and segregated level. This announcement marks the next stage in our development and will help accelerate our path to profitability.”

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