Group will not replace Wendy Hay, head of global equities quitting to join Aegon
Standard Life Investments will not replace Wendy Hay as head of global equities following her forthcoming departure to Aegon Asset Management as the group is planning to streamline its investment processes.
All the equity desks will report directly to chief investment officer, Keith Skeoch. Lance Phillips, head of global stock selection, who is to join the group from UBS Warburg this month, will report directly to Skeoch, rather than Hay as originally planned.
Hay, who joins Aegon Asset Management as chief investment officer, will be based in Edinburgh and will lead a team of 70 investment professionals, reporting to Russell Hogan, managing director of Aegon Asset Management.
Standard Life also wants to appoint five new fund managers to complement its plans to open a US fund management office within the next six months.
The group is looking at potential candidates in the UK, US and Canadian fund management industries, as well as supporting analysts and researchers, in a move that would pave the way for a string of new fund launches.
Joanne Bradley, head of communications at Standard Life, said the company currently runs four US funds and a further eight that invest in the US as part of a balanced portfolio, and will look to add to this range.
Bradley added that Standard Life is currently looking for suitable office space in Boston and hopes to complete the move by the end of the year.
'We are looking to open an office in Boston in the next six months and are looking at office space and staff now. We are looking to hire for five key fund manager positions there,' Bradley said.
The Boston-based fund managers, along with those already in Montreal who look after US funds for Standard Life's Canadian customers, will report to Norman Raschkowan, head of North American equities.
At the same time, the group is looking to enhance its valuation methodology following the adoption of two new asset allocation methods in recent months.
Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at the group, joined Standard Life earlier this year and is slowly taking over responsibilities from Ken Forman, who is looking to retire in the next four years. While fund managers at the group have their individual styles in selecting sector weightings and stock specifics, they utilise the house views in this process, Milligan said. He added: 'We need to rationalise the stream of information that hits us everyday. I set up the asset allocation diamond to try to put a filter on the selection process.'
The diamond is an information filter focusing on macro, structural, technical and valuation factors in any particular market. The way the group looks at each of the world markets feeds into the house view as to a central scenario going forward.
'Ken's approach was a scoring system and, while we still produce it, we are now monitoring the triggers going forward, concentrating more on factors we think are drivers,' Milligan said.
Standard Life is clustering various asset classes in an effort to make examining the areas more efficient, according to Milligan. Through internal and external research, the group has found that certain markets are highly correlated and therefore can be grouped together, taking the number of asset classes they look at down from 13 to around six. For example, US, UK and European equities are clustered together as are US, UK and German bonds. Some areas are not so obvious to group together, Milligan said, noting that Latin America is a cluster on its own.
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