IRELAND – KBC Asset Management (KBCAM) has appointed Geoffrey Randells to the new position of head of equities.

Randells was headhunted from Vancouver-based Phillips, Hager & North, where he was head of global equities.

The bulk of KBCAM’s assets is invested in its balanced product which has fared badly in recent years. Sean Hawkshaw, chief executive, KBCAM, told IPE: “We are absolutely committed to getting the active equity management product back on track and we recognise that to achieve this we have to do a lot in terms of stock selection.

“It is clear that the reason for our underperformance was not the stocks that we held but the stocks and sectors we didn't hold.”

He added: “We are not expecting big differences in the return of different asset classes over the next couple of years so we have to strengthen stock selection. And this appointment is one of the key steps towards that. If we can achieve this in the majority of the markets in which we manage assets it will filter through into much stronger performance in terms of our balanced product.”

Randells will start on 10 January and will report to KBCAM’s CIO Noel O’Halloran.