Columbia Threadneedle Investments is hiring for support roles in London as it seeks to grow its European presence.

The asset manager, which has $485 billion in funds, said it is planning to build up marketing, client services, compliance, and other capabilities in the city to underpin its international operations.

A spokesperson for the company said that the hires were consistent with long-term strategy but that strategy had taken on 'greater impetus' following Brexit.

As part of its European expansion, Columbia has been looking to add to its sales and marketing teams in Frankfurt, hiring Jesco Schwarz as sales director for savings and cooperative banks last year.

The spokesperson added: ‘Our long-term strategy has been to expand our European presence, this hasn’t changed due to Brexit.

‘We think there is a very strong opportunity for us particularly in wholesale/retail markets in Spain, Italy and Germany and this is something we would have done anyway.’

Speaking at the company's investment conference last week, the group’s chief executive of EMEA, Michelle Scrimgeour, said it would launch at least 13 new products under its Sicav umbrella this year.

She said: 'I want to build on the strengths that we have in the UK to scale what we have in Europe.

‘We will be doing that, over the next couple of years, by adding in people, by adding in technology, and by using the product that we already have.'

She added the expansion will be focused on three core markets: Germany, Italy, and Spain, and that Columbia is looking at ‘transferring capability that we have today in the UK’ to bolster its European offering.

With respect to Brexit, she said: ‘We’re dealing with the fact that we have to put ourselves in the right position for our clients.

‘We are at the moment in the process of moving assets from our UK OEIC range into the Sicav range. We’re doing that in a very considered way and we will be on plan to have done that substantially by the end of this year.’