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HBOS pumping £40m into fund arm overhaul

HBOS is relaunching its asset management subsidiary as Insight Investment in a move it claims is the biggest-ever strategic entry into the UK intermediary market.

Insight aims to be a top 10 player in the IFA market, with HBOS pumping £40m into the operation over three years in a bid to boost its product range and fund manager line-up.

HBOS merged its asset management business with Clerical Medical Investment Management last May to create a business with £63bn of assets under management. The group currently has several funds under the Halifax banner languishing at the foot of performance tables.

Insight will use the cash injection to recruit a raft of high-quality fund managers, which it hopes will bolster performance. It claims to be close to sealing a deal with a manager for its UK team. It aims to expand its fund range to 20 from 14.

Insight believes that by securing more impressive performance from some funds, the entire range will benefit. Several funds will remain branded as Halifax rather than Insight.

Insight chief executive Douglas Ferrans says: “Within the retail market, the need for self-provision is widely recognised and we are committed to delivering new and innovative products and services to benefit IFAs and consumers alike.”

Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “I think it is very significant that the whole operation is being reb-randed. It suggests a determination by HBOS to go down a different route rather than to simply hide poor performance, which they could do by just closing the worst funds.”

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