SLI appoints Bambos Hambi as platform push proceeds

Standard Life Investments has appointed Bambos Hambi as head of Fund of Funds Management, as the company looks to push its Sicav offerings and third party platform presence.

With over 30 years of investment industry experience, Hambi previously was head of multi-manager at both Gartmore and Insight Investment, before setting up as an independent multi-manager consultant and fund expert.

The appointment comes as SLI looks to push two business developments in particular that it expects to bring greater exposure to markets across Europe.

One is the push on platforms. The company is already well known in the UK for its own offering to independent distributors. The next month should see further developments in relations with third party platforms, when the funds range for which Hambi is responsible – MyFolio Funds – is pushed out for such distribution in the UK, a spokesperson said.

Hambos work is also likely to slot into SLI’s broader Europe push. The company is particularly keen on the Nordics, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, the spokesperson said. The company is keen to develop sales of its Sicav range for the European wholesale market. By way of example, SLI announced in February this year that its GARS (Global Absolute Return Strategies) Sicav sub-fund had become available in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Industry data suggests SLI’s appointment of a new multi-manager head comes at a time of considerably increased interest in this type of investment across Europe.

According to recent Lipper research published in its European Fund Market Review, ‘Fund of Funds Asset Allocation’ was ranked 13th out of 25 fund sectors in 2010 by sales, a big jump from the ranking of 41 seen in 2009. Estimated net sales (ENS) in 2010 for the sector were €7.3bn.

Lipper also found that ‘Fund of Funds Conservative’ jumped from a ranking of 174 to become the 21st biggest sector, with ENS of €4.7bn through 2010.

‘Fund of Funds Bonds’ saw ENS of €4.4bn (from 48 to 23 in the rankings), while ‘Fund of Funds Balanced’ saw ENS of €4.3bn (from 56 to 24 in the rankings).

Fund of funds was one of the biggest areas of new product launches last year. Lipper’s defined ‘Fund of Funds Asset Allocation’, ‘Conservative’ and ‘Guaranteed’ sectors accounted for 172 new funds last year. Together they accounted for ENS of about €10bn.

Lipper’s research covered over 35,000 funds, with total net assets of almost €5.5trn.

Bambos will report to Rod Paris, head of Investments at SLI. He will have overall responsibility for the portfolio management of the 15 funds in the MyFolio Funds offering. These are currently managed on an interim basis by Jacqueline Kerr, head of UK Wholesale. Bambos will join Standard Life Investments on 28 March and be based in London working alongside Alan Scrimger, who heads up SLI’s multi-manager research function.


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