UK - Hermes Pensions Management, the 45 billion-pound (68 billion-euro) UK-based investment manager owned by the BT pension fund, has named a new chief operating officer as it prepares to offer more of its products to co-investors.
Adrian Quirke will join Hermes on August 2 to replace the retiring Adrian White. Quirke, a qualified accountant, was previously chief financial officer and deputy chief executive at Morley Fund Management and managing director of global services at Amvescap.
Chief executive Tony Watson said: “Gerard’s appointment completes the cycle of senior recruitment. In the last two and a half years we have put together a new team of the highest quality including new appointments to the roles of chief investment officer, head of business development, head of private equity and head of property.”
He said Quirke would work on the back office and acquisition opportunities. But he would not be drawn on whether any acquisitions were imminent, apart from saying, “we are always shown lots of deals”.
Hermes, which runs 20 billion pounds for other people such as Royal Mail, Railpen, Sainsbury’s, Unilever, Nippon Life (Japan), CalPERS, PGGM and ATP, currently offers four services externally but will add another two before July.
The four existing areas to co-investors are property, where it had more than 100 clients, equity and bond index trackers (50), Focus funds that engage with the portfolio holdings to improve returns (30) and private equity funds of funds (five).
Watson ruled out offering commodities to third parties but said the team had wide experience in active equities, such as smaller companies and emerging markets, and bonds but declined to reveal more.
Deputy chief executive Charlie Metcalfe told IPE in July: “We are mindful of the cost of maintain difficult asset classes, so by opening up to third parties we are increasingly able to attract and retain good people – we pay performance fees to our managers – versus small or modest in-house pension funds.”
Opening up to third parties gave internal pension fund managers improved performance and reduced costs, he added. For the co-investors the price of using another in-house pension fund manager was usually lower cost, Mr Metcalfe said.