AMNT, Columbia Threadneedle, Pensioenfonds F. Van Lanschot, Imperial College Business School, Invesco, Natixis IM, PGIM Fixed Income, Guardian Capital
Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) – Maggie Rodger has been elected co-chair following David Weeks’ decision to stand down from the position following a diagnosis of cancer. Due to the sudden vacancy she has agreed to take up the role on an interim basis to take the organisation to the next AGM in 2022.
An accountant by profession, Rodger is a member nominated trustee (MNT) of the £3.6bn (€4.2bn) Church of England Pensions Board, currently chairing the audit and risk committee. She worked for the Church Commissioners in a variety of administrative and financial roles over a 22-year period before becoming the management accountant to the Archbishops Council in 1999. She has also served as a MNT and director of TPT Retirement Solutions.
“The role of a MNT remains important and relevant,” she said. “It is vital that MNTs, alongside their fellow trustees, are able to ask the right questions of advisers as we need to make sure that the professionals are not getting so caught up in their own world that they are forgetting what is really important to members.”
Co-chair Janice Turner said Rodger’s approach would “undoubtedly help in continuing to raise the standards of trusteeship”.
Weeks joined the AMNT in 2012 and was elected to the position of co-chair on the retirement of Barry Parr in 2016. He received the Pensions Management Institute award for outstanding contribution to the pensions industry in 2019.
He said it had been an honour to lead the association alongside Turner.
“The AMNT is now a force to be reckoned with and I am proud to have done my part in ensuring that the voice of our members continues to be heard at the highest levels.”
AMNT has more than 800 members from over 550 pension schemes. The collective assets of the members’ pension schemes exceed £1trn.
Columbia Threadneedle – Richard Watts, Stewart Bennett and David Logan will be part of the asset manager’s leadership team following the completion of its acquisition of BMO Financial Group’s EMEA asset management business, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.
Watts, who is currently CIO for BMO GAM, is due to become CIO for EMEA. William Davies, Columbia Threadneedle’s current EMEA CIO, will succeed global CIO Colin Moore when the latter retires from the firm in January next year.
Bennett will be appointed to the new role of global head of alternatives, leading Columbia Threadneedle’s expanded real assets business. Barnett is currently global head of alternatives at BMO GAM.
David Logan will be appointed global chief operating officer, also a new role. He has held a variety of roles at BMO GAM and its legacy firms, including CFO, COO for EMEA, and latterly global head of distribution.
Pensioenfonds F. Van Lanschot – Rob Kragten is the new chairman of the Dutch company pension fund for F. Van Lanschot this month. He succeeds Sako Zeverijn.
Kragten was director of Progress, Unilever’s pension fund, from 2011 to September 2019. Later under his leadership, this was transformed into the Unilever APF, where he became chairman of the executive board.
Before that, Kragten was director of pension fund VolkerWessels (2005-2010) and before that director of A&O, the administrator for pension fund Schilders (1991-2004).
Since the beginning of this year, Kragten has been a member of several review committees of pension funds.
Imperial College Business School – Michael Wilkins is taking over from Charles Donovan as executive director of the business chool’s Centre for Climate Finance & Investment (CCFI). Wilkins joins Imperial from S&P Global Ratings, where he had responsibility for the firm’s sustainable finance research activities.
Donovan was executive director of CCFI since it was established in 2017. The centre’s mission is to help financial institutions tackle the challenges posed by climate change through interdisciplinary research. Drawing on academic and practitioner collaborations, it is working to generate a better understanding of scalable investment opportunities in renewable energy, clean technologies and climate-resilient infrastructure.
Invesco – Roel Thijssen joined as head of Benelux this month. He will be responsible for distribution in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, reporting to Jillert Blom, head of Benelux, Nordics & France.
Thijssen previously worked at ABN Amro Asset Management, within portfolio management and institutional sales and at BlackRock, where he was managing director.
Natixis Investment Managers – Olivier Bluche has been appointed head of institutional sales for French speaking Switzerland, joining from Lombard Odier Investment Managers, where he had the equivalent role. Before that he worked for Russell Investments in France as an investment consultant for pension funds and corporates.
PGIM Fixed Income – Guillermo Felices has joined the asset manager as global investment strategist in London. He was most recently at BNP Paribas Asset Management, where he was global head of investment strategy and a member of the multi-asset investment committee and helped oversee the firm’s multi-asset portfolio asset allocation.
Before that he was head of asset allocation research (Europe) at Barclays and before that a senior macro strategist at Citi. He started his career at the Bank of England where he was a senior economist in his last role.
Guardian Capital – The Toronto-based firm has appointed a head of emerging markets debt, Delphine Arrigh. She will be based in London with Guardian’s subsidiary, GuardCap Asset Management, and will over the coming months be focussed on building a team.
She was previously at Merian Global Investor, where she led the emerging market debt desk, based in London. Earlier in her career, she worked at Columbia Threadneedle, Standard Chartered Bank, and began her career at BNP Paribas in Paris.