GLOBAL - Nigel Williams, chief executive of Europe and Asia (excluding Japan) at Barclays Global Investors, is to retire in mid-2007 and be replaced by David Semaya.

BGI said Semaya is currently president and CEO of BGI Japan Trust and Banking Co. Williams took up the role of Europe CEO in September 2005. He was not immediately contactable on his direct line.

Williams has been with BGI since 1992 starting off in client advisory and asset allocation areas. He then was responsible "for the formation of the defined contribution group and further development of BGI's business in Continental Europe," a press release stated.

"Our strategic focus on Europe will continue under David's leadership," BGI's overall CEO Blake Grossman said.

"We see fixed income strategies, including those tailored around pension fund liabilities, alternatives, and exchange-traded funds as key areas for investment innovation and growth in 2007."

Ross Hikida, currently Chief Investment Officer for BGI Japan, was named as the successor to Semaya in Japan.

According to Watson Wyatt's latest survey BGI manages 65% of the world's 100 largest pension plans. In total, the firm has over $1.6trn in assets.