Clerical Medical set to boost investment staff

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Clerical Medical Investment Management is set to boost its investment management and marketing expertise by recruiting more than 100 people.

Clerical's owner, banking giant HBOS, has sanctioned the expenditure, 40m (€65m) a year over three years, with a view to developing its business, which manages 70bn, on a stand-alone basis. Clerical is set to be rebranded in the near future.

Its business is being split into retail and institutional divisions. Clerical is creating the roles of retail investment chief and institutional investment chief to ensure the right products are created at the right time.

Bonds, properties and European equities are among core skills at present.

Both people will become part of Clerical's investment division, led by Michael Deakin. The institutional chief may have an additional investment role.

Deakin has lost the services of Clerical global equities chief Paul Williams, who is highly regarded by clients. Williams has recently been winding down responsibilities in order retire early and dedicate himself to painting.

But Deakin is likely to be recruiting up to 10 investment managers. He hopes to be able to prey on firms which have recently entered a period of decline. One consultant says: 'We are favouring Clerical for business, and extra hires would be welcome.' But he adds that Clerical, typical of several life assurance businesses, is not seen as a generous payer.

However, in its new guise as a stand-alone business managing life funds, rather than owned by them, Clerical has given more clearly defined pay arrangements, based on profit and performance.

This could lead to a hike in remuneration in certain quarters. It remains to be seen whether arrangements evolve into a phantom equity scheme.

The bulk of the hires, however, will cover the retail funds business, where Clerical is relatively poorly represented.

One marketer says: 'There isn't a lot of recruitment going on at present, so Clerical look like they've got their timing right.'