Mike O’Donnell, chief executive officer of UK local authority pooling company London CIV, will be stepping down from his role in a year’s time, the pool announced today.

O’Donnell has been CEO of London CIV since 2019, taking over from Mark Hyde-Harrison, who had been the pool’s CEO on an interim basis since its founding CEO, Hugh Grover, resigned in November 2017.

London CIV, the pooling organisation for the UK capital’s 32 public sector pension schemes, said O’Donnell would move on to other opportunities, including taking on his own small portfolio of clients and some other non-executive directorships.

In a statement shared by London CIV, O’Donnell said: “I have very deliberately given the board 12 months’ notice to allow time for a well planned and smooth transition. The reasons for my departure are entirely personal, reflecting my own wish to move on to new challenges. Working with the London CIV board and the London CIV team has been and continues to be a very busy but positive and enjoyable experience.”

He said he believed that London CIV had made real progress over the last year few years and that he was keen for it it to continue.

Mike Craston, chair of London CIV, added: “Clearly we are very sorry to be losing Mike O’Donnell as our CEO, but at the same time really pleased he has offered to remain with us for a further 12 months. He has made a major contribution to the success of London CIV, especially with our AUM growth and his focus on our ESG offer. The task of replacing him will undoubtedly take some time and I know Mike will be extremely helpful in taking us through that recruitment process.”

London CIV is aiming to have 70% of its clients’ funds pooled by 2025, O’Donnell said recently. As at 31 March 2021, it had 54% of assets pooled, 57% including private markets commitments.

Hyde-Harrison left London CIV after enacting a governance review in response to disappointment with the structure of the company among some of the founding members.

In February 2018, a report from Willis Towers Watson had highlighted distrust between stakeholders, political in-fighting and a lack of staff and resources as hampering the pool’s development.

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