Zurich Investments will bring three previously unavailable, US-based funds managers to Australia over the next three to six months in the high-yield, absolute return and global property space, as it seeks to boost its image and funds under management.

Martin Scott, Zurich head of distribution, will visit the US next month to finalise arrangements with the high-yield manager and hopes to have the product available in the first quarter next year. The other two managers will follow during the course of the year. “There’s a whole group of managers we’re talking to… There are some really good managers offshore that feel they don’t need to come here,” Scott said. But under the Zurich offer US managers can get access to the Australian market at a minimal cost. “We wear the capital for distribution and they get access to a market they don’t normally have access to,” Scott said. Zurich is also about to embark on an extensive repositioning of its investments brand early next year. “It will differentiate us from the insurance brand. It will give us a clean look and feel,” Scott said. As at September 2005 Zurich Investments had $6.4 billion in funds under management but plans to reach $10 billion over the next three years. Funds under management last September were $6 billion Zurich Investments’ five major clients – Axa, ANZ, RetireInvest, Securitor and Genesys – have come on board in the past 12 months. “Now that we have the new managers online and the new key accounts, we are expecting most of our growth to come next year,” Scott said.

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