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Aegon takes three from Morley

Aegon Asset Management has hired three property fund managers away from Morley Fund Management in a move to enhance its pre-existing property offering. Aegon’s new appointments include Geraldine Davies, who managed the £4.2 billion Norwich Property Trust at Morley. The other managers who left with Davies were Philip Clark, head of the Morley specialist funds team, and David Wise, manager of the Norwich Property Investment fund. The trio joined Aegon in June as directors in the property group.

"We identified property as an area that would add value to our clients and business. We are absolutely delighted with the appointment of Philip, Geraldine and David," says Andrew Fleming, managing director at Aegon Asset Management in London.

On the back of these hires, Aegon plans to repatriate its Scottish Equitable Property Fund into their management within six months. This fund had been outsourced to Morley after it was created in 2002. There are also plans to grow the property side of the asset management business, an area where the firm believes it can be a strong competitor.

Despite the departures and the loss of the Scottish Equitable Property fund, Morley is confident. "Chris Laxton will be responsible for the Norwich fund, which he created in 1991 and was in charge of before Geraldine. In reality, Geraldine had a team of eight people and those are all still here running the fund and so, with this team approach, these departures will have minimal impact," says a spokesperson at Morley. The other vacancies will be replaced by internal appointments.

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