SWITZERLAND – John Gillbanks, fund manager at the 6.2 billion Swiss franc (3.8 billion-euro) Nestlé Fonds de Pension, has left to join a Saudi Arabian bank.

Gillbanks, who had been at the Vevey-based scheme for 13 years, confirmed that he would join Riyadh-based Samba Financial Group, formerly the Saudi American Bank, as head of alternative investments in July, based in London.

Nestlé, one of the largest Swiss pension funds, declined to provide any details and the head of the fund, Jean-Pierre Steiner, was not immediately available for comment.

Gillbanks said the move would be an “interesting challenge”. He would initially work on the bank’s own investments but eventually he would manage funds of funds and some private equity.

Last month Citigroup said it has agreed to sell its 20% stake in Samba to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Meanwhile, socially responsible investing consultant GES Investment Services has decided to re-evaluate Nestlé’s exclusion from its suggested investments.

The food group had been excluded due to reports about violations of the World Health Organization’s code on marketing of breast milk substitutes.

GES said Nestlé has now improved the labelling of its products and “demonstrated a well-developed training system and extensive guidelines in order to follow the directions of the WHO code”.