Friends Life Investments launches with £6bn of assets

UK insurer Friends Life has launched Friends Life Investments (FLI), its in-house asset management business with £6bn of assets under management.

FLI will initially focus on managing the group’s existing fixed income assets on bhealf 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,” Friends Life said in a statement.

FLI currently counts as staff of 15 under CIO Mark Versey, head of Fixed Income, Michael Wright, and director of Asset Management Operations, Andrew Brown.

Former Liverpool Victoria Asset Management fixed income portfolio specialists Michael Wright, John Hampton, Purna Bhudia and Nigel Bradshaw were recruited in January this year. Further recruitment is seen as assets are added. FLI wants to build its team to 20 by the end of 2012.

Mark Versey, CIO of FLI, said: “We have recaptured over £6 billion of assets on day one and we have ambitious plans to transfer further sizable 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.

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