Payden & Rygel, M&G, Schroders Capital, Aon, Sarasin, DWS, Rail & OV, PGGM, Evenlode, Scottish Widows, Smart Pension, Publica

PGGMLars Dijkstra started on 1 February as interim chief investment officer at PGGM, filling in for Frank Roeters van Lennep who left the Dutch pension asset manager at the end of last year.

Dijkstra, who worked as investment head of Van Lanschot Kempen for many years, wrote on LinkedIn he joined PGGM “to help them out with the execution of the Strategy 2030”. Part of this strategy is a reduction of the carbon emissions of PGGM’s investment portfolio by 50%.

Smart Pension – The UK workplace pension provider has appointed Claire Misata as business development director. She will lead relationship development for Smart Pension with trustees and employee benefit consultants. Her appointment follows Smart Pension’s recent announcement that it had passed £5bn in assets under management.

As part of her role, Misata will work directly with trustees and strengthening Smart Pension’s relationships within the wider pension market. There is an increasing demand for defined contribution (DC) solutions within pension scheme decision-making as they evolve and de-risk. She will be integral to bringing Smart Pension’s technology and investment solutions to emerging opportunities within the wider pension market.

Misata has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. She joins from Northern Trust, where she was a client executive and managed a book of DB and DC pension scheme clients.

Publica – The Swiss pension fund has appointed Patrick Bonadei as head of pension provision and a member of its management board, effective 1 June.

He is taking over the responsibilities of the scheme´s director, Doris Bianchi, who has headed the pensions department on an interim basis for a year.

Bonadei is an expert on second pillar pension matters, and currently works at consulting firm Pittet Associates. He previously worked at Aon Schweiz and at Swiss Life Pension Services.

Eva Cairns at Scottish Widows

Eva Cairns at Scottish Widows

Scottish WidowsEva Cairns has joined the firm as head of responsible investment and stewardship.

She brings 18 years of experience in responsible investing and climate strategy, as well as leading large-scale change projects and undertaking economic analysis. In her former role as head of sustainability insights and climate strategy at abrdn, Cairns was responsible for leading the firm’s sustainability research team and climate strategy for investments over the last six years.

Cairns has also co-authored a number of climate related papers including on net zero investing, climate scenario analysis and the credibility of net zero targets. She has been actively involved in driving responsible investment best practice across the pensions industry, advocating for a policy environment that enables investing in line with sustainability goals.

Evenlode – The Oxfordshire-based independent investment manager has appointed Rob Harris as chief executive officer effective 7 May, subject to approval frokm the Financial Conduct Authority.

Harris will leverage his extensive experience in investment management, operations, risk and compliance, and institutional relationships, while providing key governance and strategic insights. Co-founder Hugh Yarrow will handover CEO responsibilities and move into an executive chair role, while also remaining committed, for the long term, to his investment role as lead manager on the Evenlode income strategy.

Harris has held the position of independent non-executive director at Evenlode since May 2023. He has a 30-year career, including 17 years managing institutional UK equity portfolios. He began his asset management journey in 1993 at Mercury Asset Management (subsequently acquired by Merrill Lynch, now BlackRock).

After leaving Merrill Lynch in 2002, Harris co-founded Majedie Asset Management and served as CEO until 2022, when the company was acquired by Liontrust, where he became head of global institutional business.

BayernInvest – The German asset manager has expanded its management board, appointing Philipp Plate as the third member, effective 15 April. He will seat on the management board next to Alexander Mertz and Marjan Galun.

In his new role, Plate is responsible for risk, IT and sustainability. He returns to BayernInvest from alternative asset manager Golding Capital Partners, where he led its product finance department as managing director since October 2023. Prior to joining Golding, Plate worked at BayernInvest for 13 years in various positions, including head of risk management and IT at BayernInvest Munich, and managing director for the asset management’s subsidiary in Luxembourg, BayernInvest Luxembourg.

Payden & Rygel – The privately-owned global firm has announced a significantly increased focus on Benelux and Nordic investors. Seeking to build on its established investor base in these regions, where Payden already manages towards €3bn in a series of institutional mandates, the firm has appointed Dennis Kwist to the new role of senior vice president, business development with responsibility for Northern Europe.

Kwist, a 15-year veteran of Wellington Management, where he was manging director and head of business development for Northern Europe, will operate from Payden’s London and Milan offices concentrating on promoting the firm’s UCITS funds and expanding existing segregated account business by adding new institutional relationships.

Elisabeth Stheeman at M&G

Elisabeth Stheeman at M&G

M&G – The firm has appointed Elisabeth Stheeman as an independent non-executive director with effect from 1 August 2024. She will become a member of the audit and risk committees on the same date.

Stheeman has significant non-executive experience on a range of boards and organisations within the private and public sectors in the UK, Germany and France. She recently completed her second three-year term on the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, having also served as a member of the Bank of England’s financial markets infrastructure board, and as a senior advisor to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

She is currently chair of the Edinburgh Investment Trust, a non-executive director of WP Carey Inc, and an external member of the audit and risk committee of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Pensioenfonds Rail & OVRonald van Dijk has joined the pension fund for the Dutch public transport sector as head of investments.

Van Dijk, who is joining from APG Asset Management where he worked as managing director and deputy CIO, succeeds Bart Oldenkamp who joined Achmea Investment Management earlier this month.

On his LinkedIn profile, Van Dijk describes himself as “an accomplished leader, respected for his strategic acumen and execution skills.”

Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced that chief operating investment officer Michael Cohen has been appointed steering committee chair of CA100+, the global organisation of investors working with the world’s largest companies to fight climate change.

CA100+ represents more than 700 institutional investors engaging companies to improve their climate change governance, cut emissions, and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures.

The steering committee sets overall initiative strategy and is currently chaired by François Humbert of Generali Asset Management. The role rotates every 12 months between different regional representatives on the committee. CalPERS co-founded CA100+ in 2017 and served as its inaugural chair.

DWS – The firm announced the latest development in its strategic growth push in alternative credit with the creation of a new capital solutions business unit and the appointment of Vlado Spasov as head of capital solutions.

This latest development sees DWS onboard an active deal pipeline, as a cornerstone of DWS’s strategic initiative to fast-track the growth of its €111bn alternatives franchise. DWS has a 50-year plus track record in Alternatives including established strength in real estate, infrastructure, liquid real assets and direct lending.

The new Capital Solutions business unit will be part of DWS’s alternative credit business and offer flexible solutions in the special situations lending space. The unit adds to DWS’s other strategic initiatives in alternative credit, which include direct lending, leveraged loans and structured credit.

Based in London, Spasov is a senior industry figure with more than 20 years of capital solutions experience. He was most recently founder and CIO at Trimontium Capital, and was previously a managing director in the hedge fund solutions group at Blackstone.

Shailendra Sapra at Aon

Shailendra Sapra at Aon

AonShailendra Sapra had been named CEO of the firm’s reinsurance solutions in India and a member of the APAC region’s reinsurance executive committee, effective 1 June 2024.

Based in Mumbai and reporting to George Attard, CEO of reinsurance for Aon’s APAC region, Sapra had previously served in a range of varied positions at the firm, having joined Aon’s reinsurance analytics team in 2010, before leading its Asia Pacific agriculture practice and client management function across several large regional and Singapore-based accounts.

In his new role, Sapra will seek to identify and develop growth opportunities for insurers and reinsurers presented by India’s rapidly developing insurance market. This will involve aiming to close the country’s significant insurance protection gaps and supporting the development of new and existing lines, through delivering additional capacity, and innovation in solutions and services.

Sarasin & Partners – The global thematic investment manager has reshaped its asset management leadership team as it positions the business for continued growth.

The structural changes include the promotion of Subitha Subramaniam to head of investment strategy. Subramaniam’s prior position, as head of the asset management team, has been assumed by Sam Jeffries, partner and investment manager with nearly 30 years of experience in managing multi-asset and equity portfolios for high-net-worth families.

In addition to the promotion of Subramaniam and Jeffries, Sarasin has reinforced its investment team with several strategic hires over the past year. These include Cédric Phounpadith as head of investment risk, and multi-asset portfolio managers Alastair Baker and Michael Jervis. Additionally, Tom Wildgoose was recently appointed as senior global equity portfolio manager.

Schroders Capital – The specialist private markets division of the Schroders Group has announced the expansion of its private debt and credit alternatives (PDCA) business with two senior appointments.

Following the merger of the firm’s private debt and alternative credit strategies onto a shared platform last year, these hires reflect the strong client demand for income and income alternatives, the firm stated.

Jason Kezelman has joined as head of US PDCA sales within Schroders client group. He will represent PDCA across US markets and is responsible for developing and expanding new business opportunities with existing clients and prospects. He will report to Tiffani Potesta, head of US client group and will be based in California.

Loren Sageser has joined the PDCA team as senior product strategist. In this role he will work closely with the investment teams and business development to deliver client communication and education for the firm’s private debt and credit alternatives strategies. He will report to Nick Pont, head of global business development, PDCA, and will be based in California.

Kezelman joins from TPG Angelo Gordon where he was managing director and strategy specialist in the client partnership group. Sageser was previously a managing director and product specialist at Nuveen, where he led a team focused on alternative credit.

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