NextGen Pensions, FCA, Lombard Odier, Barnett Waddingham, IFM Investors, Investor Forum, Dimensional, M&G

Vote Reporting Group – The group, convened by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has appointed as co-chair Caroline Escott, Railpen’s senior investment manager, alongside Shipra Gupta, investment stewardship lead at Scottish Widows.

Caroline Escott at Railpen

Caroline Escott at Railpen

The group was established in 2022 in response to the Taskforce on Pension Scheme Voting Implementation’s (TSVI) report in 2021 and, along with the FCA, it was subsequently tasked with defining the detail and parameters of a more comprehensive vote disclosure regime for asset managers operating in the UK.

Escott said: “I’m delighted to take on the role of asset owner co-chair of the group and build upon Deborah Gilshan’s (former chair) excellent work. In this role, I hope to leverage Railpen’s extensive experience both of exercising voting decisions directly as well as engaging with, and scrutinising, the vote reporting from our asset managers.”

She added: “Co-chairing the group is part of our industry-wide work to raise stewardship standards, which in turn benefits both our portfolio companies and the real economy.”

NextGen Pensions – Diversity and inclusion volunteer organisation NextGen Pensions has announced the appointment of Matt Dodds as chair.

Dodds succeeds Caroline Escott, who during her two-year term played an instrumental role in driving forward the organisation’s mentoring programme and original research on recruiting and retaining diverse talent, among other areas.

Previously vice chair of NextGen, which he co-founded in 2018, Dodds is a long-standing advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in pensions. He is also chief growth officer at Capita Pensions Solutions.

Barnett Waddingham – The firm has strengthened its governance and secretariat service team with the appointment of Inderpreet KaurBedi to lead the team.

By bringing in Bedi’s broad and in-depth experience to the team, the appointment highlights the business’s commitment to strengthening its consulting team, which serves a diverse client base, including corporates, funds, pension schemes, charities and legal entities. It provides offerings in governance, stakeholder engagement, sustainability and DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

Bedi has an impressive 11-year track record in global governance, including being the first chair of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India-overseas chapter (ICSI) and brings a wealth of experience gained from working with both listed and unlisted corporations and funds across the renewable energy, infrastructure and financial services sectors in the European and Asian market.

Bettina Ducat at Lombard Odier

Bettina Ducat at Lombard Odier

Lombard Odier GroupBettina Ducat has been appointed as co-head of Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) as of 5 March 2024. She will be based in Geneva and will become a limited partner of the group.

Ducat will jointly lead LOIM, Lombard Odier’s asset management division, together with managing partner Jean-Pascal Porcherot.

Before joining Lombard Odier, Ducat was chief executive officer of La Financière de l’Echiquier and deputy CEO in charge of asset management of the Primonial Group, where she developed and diversified the overall business, while implementing innovative financial solutions and sustainability-focused strategies.Prior to this, Ducat worked for AXA Investment Managers for more than 13 years, including as global head of distribution.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)Rebeca Coriat,head of stewardship at Lombard Odier Investment Managers is one of three new members of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the independent body responsible for developing and setting the GRI Standards.

The other additions are Tomoo Machiba, managing director of Japan’s Zeroboard Research Institute, and Igazeuma Okoroba, group head of sustainability of Dangote Cement Plc in Nigeria.

Giulia Genuardi, head of sustainability planning and performance management at Italy’s Enel, has been re-appointed for a second term. Meanwhile, now departed from the GSSB having completed their terms are: Kim Schumacher, Joseph Martin and Vincent Kong.

Dimensional Fund Advisors – The firm’s global head of research, Savina Rizova, will become co-chief investment officer alongside co-CEO Gerard O’Reilly, effective 1 February.

O’Reilly also led Dimensional’s research team prior to being named co-CEO and CIO in 2017.

As co-CIOs, O’Reilly and Rizova will lead a team of more than 300 investment professionals across six countries.

Rizova joined Dimensional in 2004 and has led the firm’s research department since 2017. As global head of research, she works closely with leading academics collaborating on research, coauthoring papers, and partnering with Dimensional’s broader investment team to implement robust research in live portfolios. She has been instrumental in researching and executing enhancements related to the profitability and investment premiums.

IFM Investors – The global investment manager owned by Australian pension funds has appointed Neil Macdonald as head of operations in its global client solutions team.

Macdonald will be based in London and report to IFM’s head of global client solutions, John Gee-Grant. As head of operations, Macdonald will be responsible for designing and implementing a class-leading operating model for IFM’s sales and service functions.

His career in the asset management sector has encompassed senior posts at BlackRock, JP Morgan and, most recently, State Street, where he was responsible for strategic direction and solutions structuring for the bank’s asset manager clients in APAC. Macdonald has also held senior positions at KPMG Advisory, Barclays Bank, and NatWest Bank.

Macdonald joins other recent hires in the global client solutions team, including Armit Bhambra (head of Europe) and Peter Swarbreck (head of Asia).

Kelly Hebert at M&G

Kelly Hébert at M&G

M&G InvestmentsKelly Hébert has been appointed as the firm’s head of France, adding to her existing responsibilities of leading Belgium and Luxembourg. The appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Hébert will be responsible for driving further growth in France, a priority market where M&G has the opportunity to deepen its footprint across the wholesale and institutional markets as more clients seek to access the firm’s strong capabilities in fixed income, equities and its €86bn private markets investment divisions.

A French national, Hébert is based in Paris and continues to report to Neal Brooks, global head of product and distribution at M&G.

Having joined the business in 2014, Hébert was appointed head for M&G in Belgium and Luxembourg in 2018 and has since then grown assets under management in the region to €2.5bn. She has been deputy head of France since 2021 and has played an instrumental role in shaping and driving our ESG proposition for clients over the last three years.

She replaces Brice Anger, who has decided to leave M&G following a 16-year career with the firm.

Investor ForumAndy Griffiths has announced his intention to step down from his role of CEO of the Investor Forum in 2024. A process has therefore been initiated to identify a new CEO, to enable the organisation to manage the succession process in the best interest of its members.

Under Griffiths’ leadership, the Forum has established a strong reputation by consistently demonstrating an ability to create practical solutions that enable investors and companies to resolve complex challenges.

Having been so centrally involved in the Investor Forum’s inception in 2014 and its subsequent growth, Griffiths feels that the time is now right for his successor to be recruited to lead the evolution of Investor Forum into its next phase.

The Investor Forum is an independent not-for-profit organisation which was founded in October 2014. At the end of 2023, 55 organisations were members, including asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds, and endowments.

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