To boost company's pooled pension and property management arms
Credit Suisse has bought Sun Life of Canada Financial Services, to capitalise on its pooled pension and property management business.
Ian Chimes, managing director of Credit Suisse Funds UK, said there were a number of reasons the group bought the company, including its £11bn assets under management and institutional profile. He added that the pooled pension fund business means Credit Suisse will now be able to get a meaningful place in the UK institutional market.
He said: 'We already have a property business in Switzerland and Germany but it will be good to have to a property business in the UK. It will be beneficial for us to have alternative asset classes to offer in low markets.'
Sun Life of Canada Asset Management also has £700m assets under management on the retail side, said Chimes.
'It is very early days and we are setting up integration reviews at the moment,' he said. We are looking at funds both in the Credit Suisse and SLC stable.'
According to him, there are a few options to investigate with regards to the retail funds. 'There are a number of funds that are in the same sector both at SLC and Credit Suisse,' he said. 'This does not necessarily mean we are definitely going to merge them as some may be run separately. Some of the underlying portfolios may be sufficiently different so that we could not justify merging them.'
SLC has a Worldwide Growth portfolio, run by Nigel Barrett, and a balanced managed fund called Managed Assets run by Helen Ford which stand out as different from Credit Suisse's fund range.
He added that everything will be rebranded under the Credit Suisse name as soon as possible. He said: 'The deal only happened earlier this month so we have to look at the talent we have on board, look at people in the right way and consider what their role will be. Everyone will be based at the Credit Suisse offices in London.'
He feels that the two companies are not identical and so will make for a very good merger. 'You often see two companies get together with very similar looking businesses and don't really add much to each other,' he said.
The groups have eight funds in the same sectors.
This includes the AA-rated £475m Credit Suisse Transatlantic fund, managed by Susan Everly. SLC's US offering is by the £38.72m SLCAM North American Growth fund, run by Ian Sharman. Both funds have posted very similar returns of around -34% for the 12 months to 10 October 2001 and -16% for the three months to the same date.
Crispin Finn's £36m SLCAM smaller companies fund equivalent is Phillip Harris' Credit Suisse Smaller companies fund, which is £133m in size. The A-rated Credit Suisse Growth is £70m and returned -25% for the same period. This compares to the £378m SLCAM UK Growth, which has returned -18.5% for the same period.
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