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Fund managers stay around despite govt pension seize

None of the members of the Association of Hungarian Investment Fund and Asset Management Companies (BAMOSz) are expected to wind up business in Hungary because of the elimination of the country's private pension pillar, BAMOSz chairman Sándor Vízkeleti said in an interview published in Monday's issue of business daily Napi Gazdaság.

"We conducted a survey, which showed that none of the BAMOSz members intends to wind up or move their business to another country. However, some companies are severely affected by these developments and stand to lose more than 50% of their revenues," Vízkeleti said. "It is conceivable that some closed-end investment funds established solely for pension funds might be wound up," he added.

Hungarian private pension holders had until the end of January to opt out of their private pension schemes, along with their assets, and move back to the state pension system, or lose their state pensions. About 97% of members chose to return, bringing with them about HUF 3,100 billion in assets.

Asked whether layoffs could be expected at investment fund and assets managers, Vízkeleti said he did not expect "serious redundancies" rather "a few percent". "Some people may lose their jobs but it is more likely that businesses will make use of natural fluctuations and not replace staff who leave with time," he said.