EUROPE - The Bank of New York is looking to appointment someone to be responsible for its entire European pensions business, managing director Robert Darmanin said today.

In an interview with IPE, Darmanin, who currently also heads the bank's European pensions operations, said he is looking for a "new face" for European pensions. "It is more important to find the right person for the position than to do so by a deadline but we are trying to appoint someone next year," he said.

The firm already announced the appointment of BNP Paribas' Ian Ratoff as its nice vice president to its European pension custody team earlier this month.

Darmanin also said that the bank's challenge in its custodial focus for 2007 is to "demystify the whole subject around alternatives and derivatives for the pension fund trustees from a practical point of view", targeting in particular the Anglo-Saxon pension market.

Also the bank wants to expand its independent research unit, and "we want to continue to distinguish ourselves as a niche player" in terms of alternative investment strategies such as hedge fund and real estate.