Michelle Scrimgeour, ceo of Columbia Threadneedle EMEA and James M. Cracchiolo, chairman and ceo of Ameriprise Financial Inc. photo:organiser Image Credit:

London: Fund manager Columbia Threadneedle, which manages $481 billion in assets, is in the process to register 13 more funds in Luxembourg and a part of them will be available for clients in the Middle East through its regional office in Dubai, a top executive said on Thursday.

“We already have a number of Middle East clients and we are looking forward to deepen that relationship,” Michelle Scrimgeour, chief executive at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, told Gulf News at a conference in London.

Columbia Threadneedle also plans to expand its European operations in key markets of Germany, Italy and Spain in a bid to grow its business.

“We already have a good business outside of the UK and we want to scale up that business by adding products, and that would support our European expansion. We already have a good relationship and a strong team and we would like to add to the capability over the next two years,” she added.

The investment manager is positive on multi-assets funds and launched a European multi asset fund this year. “Many of our institutions are looking for long term assets which give them yields and also reliability. We have built a team on infrastructure, and will bring in an open-ended fund out at the end of the year. We will be looking to invest in greenfield and brownfield projects, and also existing assets, which we will manage,” Scrimgeour said.

The fund manager has hired a team to build an infrastructure capability for the UK and European institutional clients. The firm is expanding into the asset class as restrained public spending on infrastructure projects means increased investment opportunity.

Perfect storm

Scrimgeour expects consolidation in the industry as a result of disruption in the asset management industry.

“This is the time of considerable change in the asset management industry. There is a perfect storm of disruption whether that be from a regulatory perspective or political or economic perspective,” she added. “I’m sure we would be a winner in this.”

Columbia Threadneedle is in the process of moving its assets from the United Kingdom to Luxembourg, and “may have done a significant transfer by the end of the year,” Scrimgeour said.

Global AUM

Global AUM (assets under management) in the industry is expected to grow to $85-$90 trillion in 2020 from $75 trillion in 2016, driven by assets in Latin America and Asia, according to Ameriprise Financial’s top executive.

Investible assets in the US are expected to nearly double over the next 15 years to $60 billion in 2020 from around $30 billion in 2016.

“Most of the markets which we serve the affluent and mass market need comprehensive financial planning and they prefer a comprehensive approach,” said James M Cracchiolo, Chairman and chief executive of Ameriprise Financial, which manages $887 billion of assets under management. Ameriprise Financial is the parent company of Columbia Threadneedle.