During the course of its strategic reorientation at the end of 1998, Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt substantially expanded its focus on offering a comprehensive range of financial services . Its objective is to be a leading independent provider of attractive solutions - focused in Europe - in the areas of long-term savings and protection, with competencies in asset management and risk management. Accordingly, the entire group's volume of assets under management increased within the last year by 60% to CHF 180 billion. Thus, the company now ranks among the top European asset managers.
Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt has also been successfully managing an increasing number of institutional asset management mandates for third party clients for over ten years. In 1999, this sector was able to double assets under management and, at the same time, increase the number of mandates by 60%. With regard to the company-own investment fund family with a total of currently almost 20 investment funds, assets under management increased 160% in 1999. Based on their excellent performance, they received various prestigious awards during the last year, such as Standard&Poors Micropal and Lipper in the European and UK shares sectors. The product range will be supplemented by eight additional funds within the next few months, whereby two funds on specific subjects will be launched for the first time.
Europe-wide asset management
As per January 1, 1999, the asset management teams of the individual group companies were combined in a Europe-wide business unit under a central management. They have been managing the portfolios of the various subsidiaries and branch offices based on binding and fixed investment directives and targets. They also accept third party mandates from pension funds as well as other institutional clients and are responsible for managing the groupown investment funds. The business unit concentrates on investments in the categories "shares", "fixed income" and "money market".
In order to push the expansion ahead, this business unit will be placed under the head of Swiss Life Asset Management Holding , an EU-holding which was founded at the beginning of March and is domiciled in Luxembourg. Swiss Life Asset Management will begin operating in Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain with initially three companies. The largest of the three units is domiciled in Switzerland and has been active since the beginning of March. In Germany, the last permits are expected during the course of this month so that business can begin operating in April. In Great Britain, this is planned for the middle of the year. Furthermore, there is a network of investment experts in five other European centres.
In its initial phase, the investment portfolio amounts to approximately CHF 100 billion and is managed by around 100 staff members. Swiss Life Asset Management is supported by a clearly structured, consistent and transparent investment process in order to ensure the long-term above-average performance of the assets entrusted to the company. This process includes group-wide know-how, which results in standard investment policies that are tailored to client needs and then used to manage the individual portfolios.
Broad investment spectrum
Other than the newly founded asset management company, Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt's
investment management currently also comprises the hedge funds and private equity sectors. For reasons of diversification, it was decided in 1997 to integrate alternative investments as a separate category in the long-term investment strategy. In what regards hedge funds, it was agreed to closely collaborate with RMF, a leading hedge fund specialist in Europe. Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt then acquired a share of RMF and, at the same time, a joint venture called "Swiss Life Hedge Fund Partners Ltd " was established in Pfäffkon/SZ.This company manages assets of approximately CHF 3 billion for the Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt Group as well as for institutional investors and private third party clients. The portfolio is broadly diversified in all directions and over a large number of individual funds (more than 80).
The subsidiary called "Swiss Life Private Equity Partners Ltd " was founded at the beginning of this year and mainly invests in young companies and thus participates in new product and service markets. The main focus is on growth industries such as financial services, technology, media and communication.
Service offer for third party clients
By founding "Swiss Life Asset Management" and successfully establishing "Swiss Life Hedge Fund Partners Ltd" as well as "Swiss Life Private Equity Partners Ltd", the Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt Group has further strengthened its position in the future-oriented and attractive investment and asset management sector. By way of the motto "invest along with Swiss Life " and a broad range of innovative solutions, its target is to increase its already strongly growing third party client base. In 1999, Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt received several international awards for its high degree of professional work and performance; and despite strong competition, its chances of attaining its goals are excellent.