Holtham’s five-year plan

He can’t say he has nothing to shoot for.

He can’t say he has nothing to shoot for. Management at U.K. insurer and financial services provider CGNU has given Gerald Holtham, chief investment officer of its Morley Fund Management subsidiary, a clear set of objectives for the next five years: He’s charged with making Morley one of the U.K.'s top five institutional asset managers, a top three player by new business flows in U.K. retail, a leading European house and a contender in U.S. money management. Created by the merger of Norwich Union and CGU last May, Morley now manages £100 billion ($148.5 billion) in assets.

Holtham’s job won’t be easy. According to Institutional Investor rankings, Morley is seventh among U.K. fund managers and 19th in Europe; if it did business in the U.S., it would be No. 33 or so, depending on currency exchange rates.

Holtham, however, is ready to give it a go. “We need to aim for the status that the group wants,” he says. “We are determined to get there.” Though he admits that the postmerger integration of the two fund units was difficult, he says a stable team of portfolio managers is now in place to start the long climb. An acquisition or two would surely help. CGU was widely reported to be a bidder for Gartmore Investment Management, which ultimately went to the U.S.'s Nationwide last March.