(Updates with Aviva comment in third paragraph.)
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Aviva Plc, Britain’s second-biggest insurer by market value, will cut 160 jobs at its asset management unit as the European sovereign debt crisis and the deteriorating U.K. economy crimp sales.
The insurer will scale back its funds that actively select stocks to focus instead on its fixed income, real estate and so- called multi-asset investment funds, Aviva said in a statement today. The cuts, equivalent to 12 percent of Aviva Investors’ workforce, include the company’s London-based European, emerging markets, global, and sustainable and responsible investments equity desks. The insurer will retain its equity index team.
“The economic downturn has been the catalyst for a change in client behavior across the asset management sector, with a reduced appetite for riskier assets such as equities, notably in Europe,” Aviva said.
The European debt crisis roiled investors last year, prompting the European Central Bank to put in place a three-year lending facility to shore up the region’s lenders in December. The MSCI World Index of stocks fell 7.6 percent last year, its biggest annual drop since 2008. The decline included a 7.1 percent gain in the fourth quarter.
Aviva Investors’ funds under management declined to 263 billion pounds at the end of the third quarter from 269 billion pounds at the end of June, hurt by declining markets and adverse foreign-exchange movements.
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