UK – Axa Rosenberg Investment Management’s UK and Ireland institutional marketing director, Stephen Millar, has surprised his employers by moving to Insight Investment.

“Building on recent mandate successes, Insight Investment is strengthening its institutional sales team with the appointment of Stephen Millar to the role of institutional sales director,” Insight said in a statement.

Jennie Patterson, global sales and marketing director at Axa Rosenberg said she was surprised at Millar’s departure, saying the firm has “tremendous momentum” in Europe at the moment. “We will look to replace him,” she added.

Patterson said the firm, which employs 40 staff in Europe, has seen European assets under management rise by 11.5 billion dollars (10.1 billion euros) since the start of the year. She added that Axa Rosenberg, 75%-owned by Axa Investment Managers, now has 28 billion dollars under management globally.

At Insight Millar, 34, will be responsible for developing direct sales to UK institutions and will report to Roger Price-Haworth, head of institutional sales. He joins in September.

Mark Connolly, managing director of Insight's institutional business, said: “This appointment is clear evidence of our commitment to building our institutional business."

Insight, part of UK bank HBOS, has around eight million euros in European pension fund assets under management.