GERMANY - Andreas Fehrenbach, the former chief executive of German asset manager Activest, has joined iShares, the exchange traded fund unit of Barclays Global Investors, as its new German head, effective immediately.

BGI said it had created the new position for Fehrenbach amid strong investor demand for ETFs in Germany. According to BGI, its ETF volume in Germany has risen to €14.5bn currently from €10bn in January.

Passive investment products, ETFs track main stock market indices. They are catching on with German institutional investors both because of the transparency from getting a market return and because fees are lower than for actively managed funds.

"Germany is our biggest growth market this year and we expect even more growth there in the future," commented Chris Sutton, CEO iShares Europe. BGI says it is the world's biggest provider of ETFs, with $231.6bn (€182.4bn) invested in its 166 ETFs.

Fehrenbach stepped down as Activest's CEO in July amid the absorption of the German asset manager by Pioneer Investments. Dominik Kremer, Pioneer's German head, has succeeded him.

In other people moves, DWS, Deutsche Bank's retail fund arm, said it had appointed Ferdinand Haas as a director for structured products, effective November 1. DWS said Haas' new role would "consist of developing innovative structured products for distribution channels in Germany".

Until mid-September, Haas was a board member at German broker pool BCA, responsible for investments and distribution.

Finally, Robert Hau joined SEB Asset Management in Frankfurt on October 1 as its new head of client solutions. Hau was the former head of European sales for Bank of Ireland Asset Management, but was forced to close his Frankfurt office in September 2005.

SEB said that in his new role, Hau was in charge of acquiring and maintaining institutional investors as well as consultants.