Aviva Investors Shuts Currency Desk, Citing Client Appetite

Aviva Plc’s asset-management unit shut its currency desk as Europe’s financial turmoil reduced client demand.

Pierre Lequeux, who headed the London-based team at Aviva Investors, is leaving the company at the end of the month after two years, he said today in a telephone interview. It closed the desk after “client appetite for exposure to currency as an asset class” fell as Europe’s economy worsened, the company said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Aviva is exiting 16 divisions including some U.K. bulk-purchase annuities, its South Korean unit and some partnerships in Italy as it seeks to bolster capital reserves and limit the effects of the sovereign debt crisis, it said on July 5.

Aviva Investors had about 273 billion pounds ($428 billion) under management as of March 31, according to its website.