UK - Hermes Focus Asset Management (HFAM), one of the UK’s largest institutional fund managers, has expanded and reorganised its management team in response to calls in the UK Myners report for greater intervention by shareholders in investee companies.

Says HFAM chief executive, Peter Butler: “We are answering this call with an immediate strengthening of our team and our board, and we plan to bring in more new people in the near future.”

In the latest recruitment drive, Mike Weston joins as investment director of the UK Focus Funds
Weston, who previously worked for HFAM, rejoins the firm from Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) where he was a director in its UK institutional division.

In addition, Tony Good, the retired head of investment research at Norwich Union Investment Management (now Morley Fund Management), has come back into the business as a non-executive member of the HFAM investment committee

Tim Bush joins HFAM from Brunswick Financial Public Relations where he was an associate partner institutional relations manager.
In the newly created position, Bush will be talking to and sharing opinions with other institutional share owners and fund managers.

On the management reorganisation side, Steve Brown, one of the two founder executive directors in 1998, becomes Managing Director (Investments) with responsibilities across UK, European and American operations.
David Pitt-Watson, a former Deloitte & Touche strategic consulting partner has been named Managing Director and takes responsibility for management of the UK Focus Funds as well as marketing.

By the year end Hermes says it will have around 30 people involved in its Focus Fund and corporate governance operations with plans to add ten more next year.

Peter Butler, chief executive at HFAM notes: “With this range of skills, we are ideally placed to carry out well constructed relational shareholder engagement programmes on behalf of our clients. With reference to the Myners’ report, we are in a position to implement the actions which the government is now demanding of shareowners and trustees.”