Aviva, UBS, Hymans Robertson, NOW: Pensions, Van Lanschot Kempen, Barnett Waddingham, Phoenix Group

NOW: Pensions – The workplace pension provider for over two million people has appointed Martyn James to the role of director of investment.

James will be responsible for leading the investment strategy for the business, with a focus on delivering returns and retirement outcomes for members, and enhancing the sustainability characteristics of the portfolio, particularly working with the trustee to further strengthen its stewardship activity.

Prior to joining NOW: Pensions, James spent 22 years at Mercer, where for the last decade he was a partner within its UK defined contribution (DC) business, including a two-and-a-half-year secondment leading Mercer’s wealth (pensions and investments) business in Latin America.

NOW: Pensions is part of the Cardano Group, the pensions advisory and investment management specialist. Within his role, James will work in tandem with the group to ensure a continued alignment of its wide investment strategy.

James joins as NOW: Pensions rolls out its new investment strategy for members throughout 2024. He will lead on the direction and implementation of the investment strategy which has been designed to deliver enhanced outcomes for members over the long term, allowing for greater investment choice and further sustainable investment opportunities.

Phoenix GroupCecile Retaureau has been hired as the group’s new head of private markets to lead Phoenix’s growing private market team of 16 investment professionals across real estate, infrastructure, public finance, corporate credit and private equity.

Retaureau will lead on Phoenix’s in-house origination capability and work with best in class asset management partners to deliver private market assets which provide a strong fit for its liabilities whilst also delivering optimal returns.

She has nearly 20 years of experience and joins from UBS where she was managing director, global head of cross-asset financing and fixed income solutions sales, managing more than 30 investment banking professionals and 400 clients globally. She has previously held senior global markets roles at BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole.

Retaureau will be joining Phoenix in August 2024, and will report into Nuwan Goonetilleke, head of shareholder assets.

Hymans Robertson – The consultancy has appointed Russell Chapman as head of investment risk transfer. The newly-created role highlights the significance the firm gives to its work with defined benefit (DB) pension schemes and their investment requirements during a risk transfer process.

In his new role, Chapman is involved in helping pension funds set the right investment strategy in the run-up to buy-in covering aspects such as negotiating price locks with insurers, managing down illiquid assets and transitioning portfolios.

Chapman is an equity member at Hymans Robertson and joined the firm in 2003. He has been involved in leading areas such as integrated risk management, in advising clients on building liability-driven investment (LDI) portfolios and, most recently, in building a team with expertise in investment risk transfer.

Van Lanschot Kempen Investment Management – The firm has named Philippe Bigeard as director business development France. He will focus specifically on serving institutional investors in France and has joined the company on 1 May.

This appointment represents an important step in the European growth plans, ambitions and presence of Van Lanschot Kempen. The business development team in France will consist of Isabelle Foy and Bigeard, with the goal of continuing to develop the firm’s product offering and reinforcing its position within the French market.

Bigeard has worked the past five years as managing director at TOBAM, responsible for business development in France and Monaco. Before that, he worked in various sales positions for CACEIS, where he was responsible for institutional clients in France for 10 years in his last role as sales director. He brings 27 years of experience in the financial sector.

Barnett Waddingham (BW) – The UK professional services consultancy has appointed four new managing partners to help lead its ambitious growth strategy.

The appointments of Alex Pocock, Scott Eason, David Stoddard and Sam Meldrum come after a year with the strongest organic growth in BW’s 35-year history and are key to its ongoing plans to maintain excellence within the pension schemes market while further strengthening its diverse offering to clients across risk, insurance, and investment.

Having joined BW in 2004, Pocock now assumes leadership and strategic oversight for BW’s pension scheme and investment services. He has an in-depth understanding of the pensions market and will utilise this experience to identify existing challenges and opportunities which in turn should help ensure that BW clients continue to be provided with a compelling service offering.

Eason now assumes leadership and strategic oversight for BW’s wider areas, which includes risk consulting, benefits consulting, insurance and longevity consulting, pensions and executive management, self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes. He previously led the insurance and longevity consulting business for almost 10 years, specialising in investment strategy and risk management for insurance companies.

Stoddard takes the lead on BW’s future strategy and transformation plans, ensuring that they remain client and colleague focused, while maintaining the impressive rate of growth. He brings more than 25 years of experience to the role, working in a number of strategic leadership roles across the financial services industry.

Meldrum now takes on responsibility for designing and delivering BW’s strategic business solutions and infrastructure that support its overall client offering, while ensuring it remains sustainable, effective and efficient. He has six years of board-level experience at BW and was head of IT for 17 years.

Aviva – The firm has made two new appointments to its independent governance committee (IGC): Jenny Segal and Rene Poisson.

the duo joins the chair of the IGC, Colin Richardson, and its other members, Ian Baines and Georgia Stewart, and non-independent member Emma Douglas.

Segal is a professional speaker on workplace culture and helping business performance and has written three books on motivation at work. She is an actuary and is chief investment officer at Nesta Trust. She has specialised in leading global sales teams for large asset management companies, most recently as global head of distribution for Fidelity International’s workplace investing business.

Poisson is chair of the JP Morgan UK Pension Plan, chairs the advisory committee for several Five Arrows Direct Lending funds, and is an adviser to World Mobile and Globaltech Corporation. He has a range of experience across UK defined contribution pensions with previous roles that include chair of the Standard Life IGC, director of the Standard Life Master Trust, and director of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

UBS Asset ManagementChristine Chow has started as head of active ownership at UBS Asset Management, a new position bringing together global stewardship, thematic research and impact engagement activities.

Chow moved to Credit Suisse from HSBC in 2023, and was head of active ownership there before taking on the role at UBS. UBS took over Credit Suisse last year. Chow is also vice chair of the International Corporate Governance Network.

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