EUROPE – The European Fund and Asset Management Association is looking to hire a new director general to take over from Steffen Matthias when he retires.

A spokesman said there would be a reorganisation at the Brussels-based group, which lobbies on behalf of investment funds, when Matthias retires.

The move comes after a planned merger between EFAMA, then known as FEFSI, and the now-defunct European Asset Management Association.

And it follows a decision in March by a group of asset managers to set up the Forum of European Asset Managers in March – which EFAMA said made “no sense” as it meant the industry now had two voices.

“The director general will be instrumental in building a united voice of all members,” says the job ad in the Financial Times.

“The right candidate will be very familiar with the financial sector and will have a clear understanding of vision, goals and priorities of the asset management industry and can translate them into positions for, and activities of, the association.”

EFAMA today expressed disappointment that the Commission’s investment fund proposals, unveiled yesterday, do not make a strong enough reference to pension funds.

New chairman Stefan Bichsel said: “We feel that the Commission’s green paper could have been a little more precise when it comes to linking asset management with pensions.”

Previously, Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy had underscored that the new proposals could help Europe tackle its looming pensions crisis, but Bichsel said that this sentiment should have been more clearly reflected in the proposed text.

Bichsel said that, for years, fund managers have been repeatedly highlighting the importance of asset management in the pension fund debate, but are only now starting to be listened to.

To illustrate the bearing that asset management has on pension funds and asset management, Bichsel pointed out that over a third of mutual funds in the US contribute towards personal pension provision, which explains why the mutual fund industry in the country is so large.

Bichsel said that there does seem to be a willingness on the Commission’s part to bring the two issues together, and expressed hope that this could be better reflected in future asset management proposals.