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Origen delays investment arm launch

Origen client services director Mark Pearson says volatile market conditions have led to the firm delaying the launch of its investment arm.

It was initially planning to launch a discretionary management service for its 150,000 less affluent clients in early April but Pearson says that market conditions have shown there is a need to look at potential partners in far greater depth and does not anticipate a launch until September.

The less affluent clients represent around £7.5bn of assets under management. Origen outsourced its £65m high-net-worth discretionary fund management arm to Brooks Mac- donald Asset Management in May 2008.

Pearson says: “We have about 10 or 12 big investment houses, including a number of multi-manager providers, that we feel can meet our objectives in the space but the past 18 months have taught us that we need to look at these businesses inside out.

“Not so long ago, many would have been seen as bulletproof but now a number will have big questions hanging over their heads.

“We need absolute transparency but we will also be looking at brands and public perception. In the past, many would have gone on what a rating agency said but now the level of due diligence has to be far greater.”

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