Switzerland's Profond creates CIO role for more in-house control

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Swiss multi-employer pension scheme Profond has created the position of CIO, with Christina Böck of AXA Investment Managers appointed to the new role.

Böck has been at AXA for more than 15 years, most recently as head of solution strategists for Central Europe, and CIO Switzerland at AXA in Zurich.

She will join Profond in mid-August, reporting to the board of trustees.

Olaf Meyer, head of the board of trustees at Profond, told IPE the decision to hire a CIO was a reflection of the scheme’s growth and its increasingly complex investments.

“We are active in more areas and investing more ourselves,” he added.  

“For all these reasons, we decided we need internal co-ordination, which we feel will give us more control.

“We felt the progress and changes we want to make can be achieved more easily with our own CIO.”

As of the end of December 2015, Profond had around CHF6bn (€5.4bn) in assets under management, compared with less than CHF1.5bn some 10 years ago.

The scheme has around 1,800 companies as members.

When asked what changes Profond had in mind, Meyer said “there is no master plan as such” but that part of the point of hiring a CIO was to have someone inside the foundation to develop the scheme’s thinking on investment strategy.

“The CIO will be the main motor behind this,” he said, adding that a core responsibility would be to oversee the investment process and the related organisational structure.

Whether there will be other personnel or organisational changes remains to be seen, Meyer said.

“Our focus,” he added, “is to think about substance.”

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