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London asset pool appoints permanent CEO

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The London CIV, the asset pooling company for the UK capital’s 32 public sector pension schemes, has named Mike O’Donnell as its new chief executive, more than a year after his predecessor resigned.

O’Donnell is a former executive director for finance at the London Borough of Camden and a former president of the Society of London Treasurers, and has also worked with the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) as a non-executive director.

He will take over on 4 March from Mark Hyde-Harrison, who has been London CIV’s chief executive on an interim basis since its founding CEO Hugh Grover resigned in November 2017.

London CIV chairman Lord Bob Kerslake said: “Mike is an experienced finance director who understands the needs of London CIV’s client shareholders well.”

O’Donnell added: “I am excited to be joining the CIV. Good progress has been made to date and I look forward to contributing to developing the model further and delivering further benefits for London boroughs.”

Lord Kerslake praised the work of Hyde-Harrison, who helped enact a governance review of the London CIV after it emerged that several of its founding members were unhappy with the structure of the company.

In February last year, a damning report from Willis Towers Watson highlighted distrust between stakeholders, political in-fighting and a lack of staff and resources as hampering the pool’s development. It called for “circuit-breaking change” in order to achieve the cost savings and efficiencies required by the UK government.

Lord Kerslake said: “I would also like to put on record my immense gratitude to Mark Hyde-Harrison for all that he has done over the last year to move London CIV forward to a better place, including the new governance framework, a clearer strategic framework and working with the team to deliver some challenging objectives.”

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