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Warren replaces Porter as F&C assets fall

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F&C has confirmed that Thames River chief executive Charlie Porter (pictured) is leaving the group next month with investment director Michael Warren replacing him.

Warren steps into the new role on September 30 with Porter becoming a non-executive at the group from early 2013.

The news comes as F&C reveals a 2 per cent fall in assets under management in the first half of 2012. The firms assets under management fell from £100.1bn at 31 December, 2011, to £98.2bn at 30 June, 2012.

F&C says the decline in assets under management was driven by outflows in strategic partner and wholesale assets as well as currency effects. The firm’s wholesale assets under management declined by £700m in the first half of 2012 to stand at £1.9bn. F&C says this was largely due to net client withdrawals of £600m.

Strategic Partner assets under management, which mainly consist of insurance portfolios, declined by £1.8 billion during the first half of 2012.

F&C is also set to see a further hit on its assets under management as Friends Life has indicated its intention to withdraw a further £2.8bn in the second half of this year. F&C is currently negotiating compensation for the assets, which are under contract until 2014.

Net revenues fell by over 12 per cent to £120.3m in the first half of 2012, compared to £137m in 2011. Underlying profit before tax stood at £21m, compared to £22.6m in the first half of 2011. Underlying operating profit stood at £32.1m, a fall of 2.4 per cent from the £32.9m in the first half of 2011.

F&C has been undergoing a strategic review under executive chairman Edward Bramson since 2010. During the six months to 30 June 2012 a further £3.2 million of costs were incurred in order to achieve staff cost savings.

F&C acquired Thames River in 2010 in a move designed to diversify revenues beyonds its core insurance clients. Porter’s departure follows that of Jeremy Charles, the firm’s chief operations officer, in May 2012.

Commenting on the results, Bramson says: “2012 is a transitional year, during which F&C is implementing new business strategies, re-sizing its expense base, and beginning to improve its capital position.  In the first half of 2012 we have made major progress on all of these fronts.  I look forward to reporting further progress when our year-end results are announced.”

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