Britain's ABI to merge its investment unit with IMA: Sky News

Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:29pm EDT

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(Reuters) - The investment affairs division of the Association of British Insurers, a British trade body, is to merge with the Investment Management Association, to create a focal point for asset managers, Sky News reported.

Insiders told the news service that an in-principle agreement to a merger, which was recently ratified by the boards of the two bodies, would be announced on Friday.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Investment Management Association (IMA) were unavailable for a comment.

The Sky reported that the ABI will continue to represent companies on issues affecting the insurance industry, but its Institutional Voting Information Service, which provides advice to fund managers on how to exercise votes at company meetings, will transfer to the newly merged body.

ABI's director of investment affairs Robert Hingley is expected to move across to help oversee the transition in a consultancy role before leaving, Sky News reported.

The chief executive of IMA, Daniel Godfrey, is expected to head the yet-to-be-named organization, according to the Sky.

The new entity is also expected to appoint a new chairman, replacing Dougie Ferrans, who had announced earlier that he would step down.

Sky said that around a dozen people would move from the ABI to the IMA's new body.

A source told Sky that "the combination will allow the asset management industry to cover the entire waterfront of matters which are of interest to fund managers from a single perspective."

The two bodies are understood to have set a target date of June 30 for the completion of the merger, talks for which have been taking place for several months.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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