EUROPE - ABN Amro has named JP Morgan’s Steve Webster as head of transition management, a new role, amid a push in the area.

Webster was a vice president at JP Morgan and was responsible for transition management in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was there for four years.

He’s been hired to build ABN Amro’s wholesale transition management business, which it says is growing rapidly.

Webster told IPE that institutional investors, including pension funds, were driving the market – which he estimated was worth around €100bn in Europe.

He pointed out that after weak market performance in the last few years, cost and risk connected with transition management have grown “more evident”, alerting institutional funds to the need for efficiency.

Transition management skills are also becoming an issue as pension funds make structural changes to their portfolios. “These adjustments have become increasingly complex and require specialised skills,” ABN Amro said in a statement.

“The industry has had to become more efficient as the returns were reduced,” Webster said, explaining that efficient transition management involved direct connection with consultants, trustees, custodians, as well as new and old management teams.

Demands for transition management is showing in the number of requests for tender in this new field, which Webster said was poised to become as intense as the demand of asset management.

JP Morgan told IPE Webster would not be directly replaced. Instead “a couple” of new recruits - either internal or external - will be hired for the team in the next few months.