BT pension firm Hermes sets up a credit boutique

City A.M. Reporter
HERMES, the fund firm owned by the BT pension fund, has set up a new credit boutique with a £400m investment from its parent as it seeks to drive third-party business.

The launch is part of a wider effort to grow Hermes’ third-party business, which chief investment officer Saker Nusseibeh, said would aim to bring in £15bn from non-BT pension schemes in the next five years.
Hermes has hired John Lupton and Cian O’Carroll, credit specialists from Fortis Investments, to head the boutique, whose 14-strong team will include existing Hermes credit specialists.

“A global team such as this could have easily up to £10bn of assets under management. In theory it is a sizeable business, several billion over three to five years,” Nusseibeh said.

Hermes already has assets from other clients in its real estate and high conviction equity Focus Funds range, and in January opened up its commodities fund to outside investors.

It now wants to drive the proportion of third-party money to as much as 50 per cent of the total, from about 10 per cent at present, Nusseibeh said.

Hermes was set up in 1983 to manage the assets of the UK’s largest pension fund, and currently has £21bn under management, mostly from the BT pension scheme.