Olivier Rousseau, executive director at Fonds de reserve pour les retraites (FRR), has left the fund after 12 years on the management board.

Rousseau, who recently turned 65, had completed two six-year terms at FRR and decided not to seek a third term as he could not have continued in a third term at the fund beyond the age of 67.

Working alongside fellow former executive director Yves Chevalier, Rousseau played a key role in FRR’s success, helping to navigate considerable change for the fund over the years and position it as a respected sustainability-minded asset owner.

He joined FRR towards the end of 2011, when the fund was getting started on a fully-fledged liability-driven investment (LDI) approach in the wake of the 2010 French pension reform. This put a stop to inflows and required FRR to instead make regular payments to CADES, a fund established in 1996 to assume and redeem past social security debt.

Speaking to IPE for an interview in 2017, Rousseau recalled LDI as “a big trauma” for FRR.

In 2020, the FRR team found itself having to adjust again, as government responses to the coronavirus pandemic effectively put paid to the prospect of a new investment approach for FRR – for instance, a shift to more illiquid, long-term classes.

Olivier Rousseau, FRR

Olivier Rousseau, former executive director of FRR

FRR was a founding member of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Key ESG-related milestones during Rousseau’s time at the fund include its 2014 partnership with Amundi, AP4 and MSCI on ‘Low Carbon Leaders’ indices, and joining the Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance in 2019.

Rousseau began his career at the French Treasury, eventually joining BNP Paribas where he spent 11 years working in international banking and finance in the Paris, Tokyo, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney offices.

He joined FRR from the French Embassy in Sweden, where he had been economic adviser, a position he took up after two years on the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London.

He currently chairs the investment board of the pension agency for the country of Georgia.

Commenting on social media about his departure from FRR, Rousseau said he was too young to stop his involvement in investment activities.

“Retirement can wait,” he said. “A long time.”

A frequent speaker at industry conferences, including IPE’s, Rousseau has not shied away from offering his views on difficult topics such as the unwinding of quantitative easing programmes.

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