Vidett, Principal, Law Debenture, Federated Hermes, Vontobel, TPT. M&G, Finnfund, Aon, Liontrust, GAM, NOW: Pensions

NOW: Pensions – The UK-based workplace pensions provider has appointed Fiona Matthews to its board of trustee directors. In her new role, as part of the UK’s second largest independent auto-enrolment scheme, Matthews will, through strong and independent governance, play a pivotal role on the board putting members first.

Matthews brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role, having worked within the pensions and life assurance industry for more than 25 years, holding a number of senior executive roles. She established LifeSight, a UK mastertrust with 325,000 members and $18bn in total asstes, and oversaw its global expansion.

She has also worked closely with the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, sitting on the mastertrust committee during a significant period of change for pension policy. She is also a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

As a co-founder of the Inclusion & Diversity Council at WTW, Matthews has demonstrated her commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive environments within the pensions industry, which aligns strongly with Now: Pensions trustees’ three stewardship themes of gender equality, climate change and living wage.

Matthews’s appointment comes at the start of a pivotal year for the scheme, which recently surpassed £4bn in assets, with a series of upgrades to its proposition due to be rolled out to members and employers in early summer.

Swedish Pensions AgencyAnna Pettersson Westerberg has been appointed by the Swedish government as the new director general of the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten). She took on the role when the announcement was made on Monday.

The authority has been without a permanent director general since the previous incumbent, Daniel Barr, left the job in March 2023 when he was appointed director general of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.

In the meantime, Kajsa Möller has been interim director general at the Pensions Agency.

Since 2022, Pettersson Westerberg has been state secretary at the Minister for the Elderly and Social Insurance.

The government said she had broad experience in areas such as economic policy, social insurance and pensions from various positions within government offices, authorities and private-sector entities, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Swedish Insurance and the National Audit Office.

Liontrust Asset Management – The firm has poached five senior members from across GAM’s distribution and investment teams in a bid to bolster its fund offering and client base. The move comes after the failed takeover of GAM by Liontrust, which failed to obtain majority support from GAM shareholders for the acquisition.

Mark Hawtin joins the firm as head of global growth equities, departing GAM where he was investment director overseeing the global growth equity team.

Hawtin is set to join Liontrust along with team members David Goodman, Kevin Kruczynski and Pieran Maru in May. The team currently manages the GAM Star Disruptive Growth and GAM Star Alpha Technology funds.

Additionally, GAM’s Jeremy Roberts also joins Liontrust as head of global distribution (ex UK). Roberts, who will join Liontrust in April, will be responsible for growing global distribution outside the UK with an initial focus on Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Nordics, Iberia and Latin America, Benelux and France.

GAMPaul Markham has been appointed as investment director and head of global growth equities at GAM replacing Mark Hawtin who moved to Liontrust (see above).

Joining from Newton Investment Management, Markham brings 25 years of experience to the role, most recently as head of global equities where he has worked since first joining the industry. As head of global equities, he was responsible for leading a team of portfolio managers who oversaw assets of around £7bn, and oversaw a range of asset classes and strategies, including sustainable global and European equities, alongisde international and Japanese Equities.

Markham joins GAM in February, while Hawtin will remain for the next few months to ensure a smooth handover, according to a GAM spokesperson.

Michael Callari at TPT

Michael Callari at TPT

TPT Retirement SolutionsMichael Callari has been appointed as a business development manager.

In his new role, Callari will be responsible for delivering new business growth for TPT, including growing TPT’s defined benefit (DB) propositions – DB Complete, a full-service DB master trust and the new DB Connect offering, which enables pension schemes to receive many of the benefits of consolidation without having to join a master trust. He will report to Jonathan Jackaman, head of DB distribution.

Callari has more than six years of experience in business development roles, working across the full sales process including lead generation, prospecting, RFP completion, pitches, and onboarding. He also has experience in delivering tailored educational sessions to pension schemes and their trustee boards. Before joining TPT, Callari most recently served as a business development manager for CACEIS, the asset servicing banking group of Crédit Agricole and Santander.

VontobelAndrew Jackson will join as head of the firm’s fixed income boutique, taking over from Simon Lue-Fong, who is retiring after a 30-year investment career.

Jackson has more than 20 years of experience as a fixed income investor. He was most recently head of fixed income at Credit Suisse Asset Management, and has also been head of fixed income and multi-asset at Federated Hermes International and CIO at Cairn Capital, a specialised fixed income boutique.

Lisa Ravlo at Federated Hermes

Lisa Ravlo at Federated hermes

Federated Hermes – The firm is expanding its private markets sales team with the appointment of Lisa Ravlo as private markets director for the Nordic region.

With €20bn assets under management, the private markets division of Federated Hermes is comprised of private equity, private debt, real estate, infrastructure and natural capital investment products.

Ravlo joins Federated Hermes in Oslo, Norway, as private markets director for the Nordic region. She will work alongside the established Nordics team, including Magnus Kristensen, director, business development – Nordics, and reports to Jakob Nilsson who was appointed last year as head of private market sales, ex-North America.

In this newly-created role, Ravlo will help in the further broadening of the distribution of private markets products across the Nordic region. Prior to joining Federated Hermes, she worked for Barclays Investment Bank in both London and Paris.

This announcement follows the appointment of Stefan Arneth as sales director - private markets, based in Munich, Germany.

Aon – The consultancy has appointed Jit Parekh as a partner in its UK defined contribution (DC) team. He has advised trustees and corporates for more than 12 years and joins from Schroders Solutions where he initially headed the DC team with responsibility for both advisory and fiduciary DC clients.

Prior to joining Schroders, Parekh worked at WTW as an investment consultant where he started his career, before moving to Isio where he focused on DC opportunities, including DC trust and master trust clients.

Kamal Bhatia at Principal

Kamal Bhatia at Principal

Principal Financial GroupKamal Bhatia, global head of investments, president of Principal Funds and chair of Principal Funds’ board, will be the incoming president and CEO of Principal Asset Management, effective 10 February. Bhatia succeeds Pat Halter, who will retire after 40 years with the company on 2 April. During this transition period, Halter will assume the interim role of division president.

Bhatia will be responsible for strategy, investment performance, and client growth for the global investment unit and the company’s $651bn of assets under management, including the general account. He will lead the continued expansion of the firm’s global and local offerings with a focus on specialty public and private investment capabilities, multi-asset products, and retirement solutions to meet the needs of its institutional, wealth, and retirement clients, it announced.

Bhatia joined Principal in 2019 as president and CEO of Principal Funds before becoming chief operating officer for the asset management business in 2020 and global head of investments in 2023. Prior to joining the company, Bhatia held several senior management positions in the industry, including CEO and chair of the board for OC Private Capital, a joint venture between OppenheimerFunds and the Carlyle Group, focused on private credit.

FinnfundHanna Loikkanen has been appointed as chief investment officer of the state-owned development financier and impact investor Finnfund.

“Hanna has extensive experience in successfully financing private companies in emerging and transition markets. In addition to her operational experience, she has served on several company boards and is familiar with the issues relevant to impact investors and development financiers in our markets and regulatory environments. We are excited to have her unique combination of expertise and experience in our team,” said Finnfund’s chief executive officer Jaakko Kangasniemi.

Loikkanen has previously worked in management positions at Nordea and East Capital. She is a strong expert on Russia as she has worked in management positions at Russian companies FIM, SEB, and Merita Bank. Loikkanen is also familiar with Finnfund as she has been a board member since the spring of 2020.

Mike Birch at Vidett

Mike Birch at Vidett

Vidett – The UK-based professional trustee and pension governance firm has announced that Mike Birch will join as a client director in April 2024 from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Birch’s role with Vidett will see him move into professional trusteeship with a primary focus on DB schemes with employers experiencing distress or undergoing corporate transactions.

He has spent more than 11 years at TPR and is currently director of supervision. In this role, he is responsible for a team of 80 delivering regulatory supervision of all types of pension scheme.

M&G Investments – The firm has announced two senior appointments to its global distribution team as part of M&G’s strategy to expand its distribution capabilities in Europe and Asia. Both appointments will play an important role in providing investors with greater access to the firm’s broad range of investment capabilities across public and, increasingly, private markets, it said.

Martin Herbon joined the business on 15 January in London as head of global banks, reporting to Neal Brooks. With more than 20 years of international experience in financial services, Herbon will be responsible for leading M&G’s relationships with global financial institutions.

Herbon and his team will work together with Ignacio Rodriguez, head of Americas and US global banks, and M&G’s Asian distribution teams under the leadership of Amy Cho, to align and expand M&G’s partnerships across all international markets focusing on strategic, long-term partnerships with major distributors.

Herbon joins from Natixis Investment Managers, where he was most recently head of global financial institutions. Prior to this, he held different positions at Royal Bank of Canada, Union Capital Group and Merrill Lynch.

Additionally, Otto Donner has been promoted to head for the Nordics. One of Europe’s key areas for institutional investors, his appointment reflects his strong contribution in broadening M&G’s footprint in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway to around €4bn of assets under management, the firm said.

Donner will continue to build on this success and deepen relationships with insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional clients in the region. Having joined M&G in 2020, he is based in Stockholm and continues to report to Robert Heaney, head of institutional distribution, EMEA.

Law Debenture – The firm’s pension trustee team continues to grow with the appointment of Sonel Mehta as a professional trustee.

Mehta joins from State Street Bank and Trust Company, where she spent five years as an ICAAP specialist supporting the chief risk officer in the contribution of enterprise risk management to capital planning exercises for UK and Irish regulated entities. She has extensive actuarial consulting experience within both public and private sector pension schemes, as well as risk management.

Further to her professional career, Mehta is the founding trustee of a UK-based human rights charity, has spoken on panels in parliament and at events for legal bodies and community groups, and is a published author, including co-authoring a paper on state pension age for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

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