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Threadneedle expands in Asia and Middle East

By Claire Milhench LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - UK fund house Threadneedle is boosting staffing in Asia, a senior executive said, and will open an office in Dubai this year as it seeks to capitalise on the strong fund flows coming out of emerging markets. Campbell Fleming, head of distribution at Threadneedle, said the group had received a licence just after Easter to open an office in Dubai. "We already have a mixture of business in the Middle East, and this would help us service that and grow it," he told Reuters. The aim is to open the office in the first half of the year with about three people, headed by Derek Angus, a senior executive in the institutional client group, and to double the headcount over the next 12 months. The office will target Threadneedle's existing global relationships with major financial institutions who sell its products through their distribution networks, plus the key domestic players and institutional clients in the region. Threadneedle is also aiming to accelerate its growth in Asia following the relocation of William Lowndes, head of Asian distribution, to the Hong Kong office in April. "We have about 15 staff in the region and I would hope to double our efforts there over the next two to three years," said Fleming. "We have seen strong growth in appetite for our funds amongst Asian-based investors." Fund managers have been keen to step up their on-the-ground commitment in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America over the last 18 months to position for the expected rapid growth in fund flows coming out of these markets. "Everyone has realised that the Western economies are essentially ex-growth, apart from rebooking business, so they are looking to emerging markets to grow their businesses," said Fleming. The fund house is also looking to expand in Singapore, where its deputy head of Asian distribution Jon Allen is based, and Latin America. Globally it aims to add 12 to 24 more people in distribution over the next two years. This is in addition to the dozen that have come on board since Fleming joined in November. Threadneedle, owned by Ameriprise Financial, has 63.9 billion pounds ($98.83 billion) under management. (Editing by Louise Heavens) ($1=.6465 Pound) Keywords: THREADNEEDLE/DISTRIBUTION (claire.milhench@thomsonreuters.com; +44 (0)20 7542 3571; Reuters Messaging claire.milhench.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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