IRELAND – The Bank of Ireland Asset Management today announced a new investment business structure with the appointment of three managing directors – including former ABN Amro research head Chris Johns - to take over from outgoing chief investment officer Chris Reilly, who will retire next year.

Johns (currently an investment strategist at Collins Stewart), BIAM equity team leader Paul Boyne and Bank of Ireland’s global markets trading and investment head Sean Crowe are due to start in their new MD posts on September 1.

The new structure will add leadership depth and breadth to BIAM’s existing investment team, a spokesperson said. She added that with today’s complex markets, the appointment of a single CIO was thought to be “old fashioned”.

BIAM has repeatedly been in the news for staff departures, poor performance and asset outflows.

Johns is due to take up the role of global research managing director, Boyne has been appointed global equities MD and Crowe has been assigned the position of global fixed income and specialist products MD.

In his new position, Johns will be directly responsible for all global equity, fixed income and property research. He was formerly chief economist at Bank of Ireland during the early 1990s.

Boyne – who joined BIAM from Morgan Stanley Investment Management in 2005 - will be responsible for the management of BIAM’s €30bn global equity book.

Meanwhile, Crowe will be responsible for growing BIAM’s fixed income, credit and property portfolios, and will also have direct responsibility for the delivery of new products.

According to BIAM chief executive Mick Sweeney, the new structure is appropriate for the strategic direction and growth of the business.

Earlier this week, reports stated that the pension scheme of alumina refinery group Aughinish Alumina has axed BIAM from an €80m global equities mandate. Both BIAM and Alumina declined to comment on the matter.

“I can confirm that BIAM has had a long standing relationship with Aughinish. But we cannot comment and further on the relationship,” a BIAM spokesperson told IPE.

Meanwhile, the scheme said: “Aughinish Alumina does not make any public comment on matters relating to its pension funds.”

One report stated that the scheme was unwilling to wait for BIAM to name its successor to Reilly – the announcement was already two weeks overdue - before dropping the asset manager.

“We had hoped to make this announcement by the end of June, however, this is an important task and our progress to date has been significant. The announcement will be made very shortly,” a BIAM spokesperson told IPE.