Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – British investment manager Schroders opened an office in Helsinki this summer to strengthen its Nordic footprint. Roope Relander (pictured), a newly-appointed client director who heads the office and is responsible for serving the Finnish market, says the new office is part of the firm’s transition from a long-only asset manager to a house providing exposure to all asset classes.
As part of the transformation, Schroders will put particular emphasis on alternative investment products and private assets such as real estate and private equity. “We want to be a house offering all asset classes, a house that has a wide selection of alternative investment vehicles, including private assets,” Relander tells AMWatch. “These are the asset classes investors today consider interesting and we believe this interest will continue into the future.”
Relander joined Schroders in May of this year from SEB Finland, where he was responsible for business development in the area. He has more than 16 years of experience in the industry, having focused on both traditional and alternative investment strategies. Before SEB, he worked as a portfolio manager at Veritas Pension Insurance. Relander, who maintains an extensive network of relationships with Finnish institutional investors, reports to Henrik Jonsson, the investment manager’s country head for the Nordics based out of Stockholm.
According to Relander, investors are increasingly willing to accept exposure to illiquid assets in the current low-yielding market environment if the associated expected returns are high enough. “Even today, established large European investors in search of yields are willing to grow their private equity exposure despite the illiquidity,” says Relander.
Schroders had €496.6 in assets under management at the end of June, with most of these assets coming from institutional investors. In Finland, the asset manager serves local institutional investors directly and simultaneously acts as an intermediary for local asset managers. “Our intermediary business here is a good way to serve also investors with more limited asset volumes,” says Relander.