Friends Ivory & Sime
(FIS), the publically-traded UK investment management firm, today announced it has acquired a 15 percent stake in Sumisei Global Investment Trust Management Compan
y, Ltd., a $2 billion mutual fund company formerly known as Taiheiyo Investment Management Company Ltd.
The news follows closely on the heels of the acquisition of a 59 percent controlling interest in Sumisei by Sumitomo Life Insurance Company
, the third largest life insurer in Japan. FIS has had close ties with Sumitomo for years, and manages part of its international assets.
"With the right partner and the right strategy, the Japanese market is an attractive place to be," said George Walker
, chief marketing officer of FIS in New York. "We believe this strategic alliance will provide us with the opportunity to make a successful entry into the Japanese market following the recent deregulation of the financial services industry."
The two companies have also launched the Friends Sumitomo Life Global Fund, an institutional fund, jointly seeded at $30 million, with management of the fund split betwwen FIS and Sumitomo.
The director of global equities at FIS, Julie Dent
, will act as lead manager for the new fund. Dent will oversee both the country allocation and the management of the non-Japanese equity component of the fund. Peter Eadon-Clarke
, chief investment officer of Sumitomo Life International Investment Management will advise the fund on Japanese equity management.
The fund, which will be benchmarked against the MSCIP World Index, will have an initial allocation of 50 percent in US equities. This portion of the portfolio will be managed by Andrew Pringle
out of FIS' operation in New York .
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