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Sixty staff are axed at Abbey arm in multi-manager move

Abbey is axing 60 staff from its asset management arm as part of a plan to introduce a multi-manager approach across its actively managed bond and equity-based unit linked life and pensions and unit trust business.

Abbey says it wants to move away from directly managing funds to external fund managers. The 60 redundancies will come from within the fund management and back-office operations at Abbey National Asset Manager&#39s Glasgow premises over the next few months.

At the same time, Abbey is moving its with-profits funds to an investment strategy involving a mix of index-tracking management and a multi-manager approach it says will give more consistent risk-adjusted returns in the long term.

The move will see Anam cease being responsible for the majority of in-house active fund management for its £29bn portfolio.

There had been widespread rumours that the group was looking to sell its fund management arm.

Abbey has signed a deal with State Street&#39s Global Advisers investment arm to help with the programme of changes. The firm will be one of a number of multi-manager partners that will be used once mandates have been agreed.

Over the last three years, Abbey has used two different models in its fund management approach, with Anam managing all Scottish Mutual, Scottish Provident and Abbey-branded funds while Inscape funds were based on a multi-manager model.

Abbey chief executive Luqman Arnold says: “The multi-manager approach has proved extremely successful and we expect it to provide the optimal solution for our customers. For with-profits customers, we believe that their needs are also better met by the new approach, which we expect to deliver both peace of mind and performance.”

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