As parent Phoenix Group unveiled half-year results yesterday, it said Ignis was demonstrating "continued momentum in the business' development into a leading asset manager", despite flat operating profits and reducing assets under management.
Ignis, the fifth corporate incarnation of the former FS, Britannia, Britannic and Resolution fund managers, employs 249 in Glasgow and supports another 140 administration jobs at HSBC after outsourcing the work and transferring the staff at the end of 2011. The group, which also employs 140 in London, has steadily declining assets as the bulk are in Phoenix's closed funds, including Scottish Provident, Scottish Mutual and Alba Life, which are in run-off.
Total assets under management (AUM) fell from £66 billion at the end of 2012 to £64.9bn, down from £75bn when the HSBC deal was announced.
But Ignis said it continued to grow its external business in the first half of 2013, despite volatile global economic conditions, winning £900m of net third party inflows, the same as last year's figure. Operating profits were flat compared to the first half of 2012 at £19 million, impacted by the run-off of assets and the restructuring of its former joint ventures with fund boutiques, latterly Cartesian in Edinburgh.
Chris Samuel, chief executive of Ignis Asset Management, said: "It is frustrating, at least to me, that we see a sort of flattish profit number notwithstanding other things are positive."
But on Glasgow's significance, he said: "All of the areas that are growing most aggressively at the moment are Glasgow-based."
The group highlighted "an acceleration of sales in the Absolute Return Government Bond Fund including higher international inflows", offsetting a slight fall in liquidity net inflows.
Mr Samuel said the liquidity team in Glasgow headed by Brian Jack was raising a new liquidity product and a short-duration fund, while the absolute return bond fund run by Russ Oxley was growing fast.
"The other thing we have been very successful with is our real estate product, with a team of 35 people based in Glasgow."
Ignis manages the £920m UK Commercial Property Trust, which on Wednesday reported a healthy first-half, with total returns ahead of its benchmarks.
Mr Samuel went on: "We also have some equity capabilities, which are at an early stage of development, and Glasgow is making an extraordinarily important contribution to the whole. Behind the scenes, it is not just about headline numbers and AUM growth, it is about the number of relationships we are building, which is broadening.
"We have close to 400 relationships in the UK in our liquidity fund and 200 with the absolute return bond fund. The reason that is exciting is people tend to invest a little at first, then build."
Aberdeen Asset Management is understood to have considered but rejected a plan to bid for Ignis last year, and Phoenix's £2.5bn of debt has prompted talk of a disposal.
Mr Samuel said: "In an industry like ours there is talk of any number of firms doing any number of things.
"I see no reason to be anything other than optimistic about the future of Ignis."