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BNP Paribas Investment Partners' merger with Fortis Investments in Australia successfully completed

On 31 May 2010, the merger in Australia of BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) and Fortis Investment Management Australia was successfully completed, with the combined entity now known as BNP Paribas Investment Partners (Australia) Limited. This follows the completion of the global merger of the two head companies on 1 April 2010.

In Australia, Robert Harrison continues in his role of CEO of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, and now oversees an entity with combined assets under management of AUD 24.2 billion, making it the 14th largest fund manager in the Australian market (AUM at 31 March 2010; Morningstar rankings at 31 December 2009).

Mr Harrison said: “BNPP IP's existing multi-specialist investment platform has been strengthened locally with new capabilities from Fortis Investments, such as Australian Equities and Global Real Estate. In turn, these products will benefit from having access to BNP Paribas' extensive distribution platform, best practice governance and capital adequacy through the strength of the BNP Paribas balance sheet.”

Arnhem Investment Management, the Australian equities fund manager formerly known as Fortis Investment Partners, has become one of the 25 specialist Partners within the global BNP Paribas Investment Partners network. BNP Paribas Investment Partners retains a 40% shareholding in the Australian equities fund manager.

“The merger puts us in a strong position to increase our market share and better serve our clients in Australia and New Zealand, with both the diversification of our product offering and the increase in our client management resources.”

The expanded product range distributed in Australia and New Zealand now includes the following Investment Partners from BNPP IP's network of specialist Partners:

BNP Paribas Asset Management – European Equities, Emerging Market Equities, European bonds, Alternate Investments, Socially Responsible Investments and Global Property securities

Fischer Francis Trees and Watts – a global bond manager and manager of global inflation linked income securities

Overlay Asset Management – a specialist currency overlay manager

Fauchier Partners – a fund of hedge funds adviser and manager

Impax – a leading specialist finance house focusing on the environmental sector

Antin Infrastructure Partners – a specialist manager investing in European infrastructure, focusing on transportation, energy and telecom sectors.

Arnhem Investment Management – a specialist manager currently offering three Australian Equity capabilities, including a 130/30 Australian Long/Short fund.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Australia and New Zealand has also formed strategic distribution alliances with:

Massachusetts Financial Services (MFS) - Global Equities

Hamilton Lane - Private Equity

Global Merger

The global merger of BNPP IP and Fortis Investments has resulted in BNPP IP becoming the fifth-largest asset manager in Europe and the eleventh-largest in the world with AUD 799 billion in assets under management and advice (as at 31 March 2010. Rankings based on the IPE Top 400, July 2009 (figures per 31/12/2008)).

The merger reinforces BNPP IP's well-established multi-boutique model which has proven its resilience in a wide range of market conditions and combines the advantages of a large, top-tier global asset manager with those of our boutique–like Partners.

Philippe Marchessaux, Global CEO of BNPP IP, said: “We are delighted that our merger with Fortis Investments is now complete and this is an important moment for our company. Now that we have joined forces, BNP Paribas Investment Partners is able to provide its clients with one of the most comprehensive ranges of investment solutions and services in the market.”

BNP Paribas Investment Partners
BNP Paribas Investment Partners is the dedicated asset management business line of the BNP Paribas Group. BNP Paribas Investment Partners offers a full range of investment management services to institutional and retail clients around the world. Central to the way we work is the concept of partnership – both in terms of how we behave as a family of companies and our relationships with our clients. Around 1,200 investment professionals work across our network of some 60 investment centres, each of which is a specialist in a particular asset class or type of product. With total assets under management of AUD 799 billion as of 31 March 2010, BNP Paribas Investment Partners is the fifth-largest asset manager in Europe and the eleventh-largest in the world*.

On April 1st 2010, the operations of Fortis Investments were merged with those of BNP Paribas Investment Partners. Fortis Investments' investment experts and international locations were a natural and complementary fit with BNP Paribas Investments Partners, whose flexible partnership model has proven successful in integrating new expertise in the past. Together, our combined company provides clients with an even broader range of investment solutions and even better client service than before.

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About BNP Paribas Australia
BNP Paribas has been supporting businesses in Australia for over 129 years as the first major foreign bank to establish operations in the country. Today, it works with leading organisations and financial institutions, providing strategic advice and solutions through its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions business lines.