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£3.6bn London fund appoints new investment head

UK - The £3.6bn (€5.3bn) London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has found a replacement for Suzanne Ross, the investment director who left last November just five weeks after joining.

The authority has appointed Vanessa James, previously director of institutional business and global equity director at Abbey National Asset Management where she left in 2004.

James has spent the interim in pursuit of other interests. LPFA said she has 28 years’ experience running some of the UK’s largest investment funds.

In November, the LPFA told IPE that Ross was leaving “because of personal circumstances she could not have foreseen when she joined us - it was a surprise for us all.” Before joining the LPFA Ross had been investment manager at the IBM Pension Fund.

LPFA’s chief executive Mike Taylor, who had overseen the investment strategy since Ross left, commented on the new appointment: “We are delighted that Vanessa will be joining us because she will bring to the authority an impressive and a substantial track record of achievement in all areas of fund management, derivatives, corporate pensions scheme management, and investment strategy leadership.”

Elsewhere, the European arm of SEI Investments announced that it had appointed two new directors to its UK institutional sales team. John Simpson and Ian Love will work alongside Kate Finch to drive new business in the UK.

Simpson joins SEI from South African asset manager, Coronation Fund Managers. Ian most recently worked on SEI’s US institutional sales team based in the company’s head office in Pennsylvania.

SEI’s European arm has around €5bn in assets under management for European institutional clients, according to IPE’s Top 400 asset managers survey. In total SEI’s assets under management worldwide now stand at $181.5bn (€138bn) with an additional $366.6bn in SEI administered mutual funds and pooled assets.

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