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Northern Trust to distribute in Ireland Back  
Northern Trust, one of the world’s largest fund mangers with over €478 billion under management, has signed an agreement with KBC Asset Manaagement (KBCAM), Ireland’s fourth largest asset manager, to create a new jointly-managed manager of managers (MoM) pension product.
In Northern Trust’s European MoM first distribution partnership in Ireland, the deal will see KBCAM become the sole distributor of Northern Trust’s MoM products and solutions in the Irish market, and KBCAM has already signed up a number of clients for the new product. It is estimated that inflows into multi-manager products within the Irish marketplace will be in excess of €1 billion by 2007.

The multi-manager approach has been gaining considerable momentum amongst pension fund trustees worldwide. According to the most recent Cerulli report, global multi manager products are expected to grow from $463 billion at end of 2002 to $770 billion at end of 2007. In 2003, AIMMI (the Association for Institutional Multi-Manager Investing in the UK) saw the aggregate assets under management for its members almost triple from their 2002 levels. S?an Hawkshaw, chief executive of KBCAM, believes that the €69 billion Irish pension fund market is likely to follow this international trend in moving towards multi-manager products.

The new balanced pension product will incorporate Northern Trust’s international equity programme, and KBCAM’s bond, Irish equity and property management capability. Hawkshaw says that this is an ideal product for trustees who wish to diversify their fund manager risk.

Referring to Northern Trust’s MoM experience in the UK, Tony Earnshaw, head of Northern Trust’s European Manager of Managers business, said, ‘it is the flexibility of this investment approach coupled with its potential to help trustees minimise risks that has made it a popular choice for pension funds ranging in size from ?1m to ?145m as a total and specialist scheme solution’.

Northern Trust has a significant fund administration and custody operation in Dublin, employing over 90 people, and since 2001 has provided custody and back office services to KBCAM.

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