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F&C outflows reach £7bn as firm looks to cut costs

F&C Asset Management saw £7.2bn of outflows last year.

The company’s annual results, published last week, show assets under management fell by 5.4 per cent from £105.8bn in 2010 to £100.1bn in 2011 but profit increased by 7.8 per cent from £38.3m to £41.3m.

In March 2010, F&C said it would conduct a strategic review in order to maximise value for shareholders. The first phase, completed in October, focused on reducing costs as well as the growth strategy for the institutional business.

F&C says it expects to conclude the second part of the review in May and meet its £33.2m cost reduction programme by the end of this year. It says £10.7m of the savings are expected to be linked to job cuts, mainly among back-office and corporate functions staff.

Executive chairman Edward Bramson says: “The second phase of the strategic review, which will focus on the growth strategies for our retail, wholesale, investment trust and real-estate businesses, is progressing well and we expect to conclude this work in May.”

In October, F&C said chief executive Alain Grisay would retire in late 2012 and chairman Bramson will take over his duties on an interim basis. F&C says the chairman and chief executive roles will be separated again by the time of the 2013 annual general meeting in May.

The results show Friends Life will withdraw £2.3bn of assets from F&C this year to seed its in-house asset management business, due to launch in late 2012.

F&C says it expects the £26.8bn total assets it manages for Friends Life to be withdrawn by October 2014.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “It is understandable that F&C has had these outflows. There is not a huge array of good funds at F&C, excluding what is offered at Thames River. Until it invests in quality fund management, it will not reverse outflows.”

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