Aviva, La Financière Responsible, Universal Investment, SSGA, Liontrust, Barnett Waddingham, Law Debenture

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) – The asset management business of State Street Corporation has appointed Giorgio Fernicola as head of institutional business Italy, reporting to Gerben Lagerwaard, head of Continental Europe global institutional group, effective immediately.

Based in Milan, Fernicola will be responsible for business development and relationship management with Italian institutional investors, including providing investment-related support to clients and growing the firm’s presence in Italy.

Fernicola’s experience spans the investments universe, including direct experience working with long-only funds, liquid alternatives, hedge funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and private markets strategies. Prior to joining SSGA, he spent over seven years at SEB Asset Management in London before moving to Lyxor Asset Management in Milan. In 2022, Fernicola assumed a senior institutional sales role in Amundi ETF after the firm merged with Lyxor Asset Management.

Aviva Investors – The global asset management business of Aviva has appointed Steven Gardner as head of institutional, EMEA.

Reporting to Jill Barber, chief distribution officer, Gardner will be responsible for developing Aviva Investors’s institutional strategy across the UK and EMEA regions, in-line with the firm’s global growth objectives. He will join the business in August, subject to regulatory approval.

Gardner is moving from Berenberg where he led its UK asset management team as head of asset management sales and client relations.

Aviva Investors has also appointed Fraser Lundie as global head of fixed income. In this new role based in London, he will report to chief investment officer Daniel McHugh and will have overall responsibility for the global rates, investment grade, high yield, emerging market debt and global liquidity teams.

Lundie has extensive experience in asset management and joins from Federated Hermes where he was head of fixed income, public markets. He also developed a strong focus on sustainability within investing in credit, including the pioneering design and launch of award-winning credit strategies, incorporating engagement and climate goals.

Kim Durniat at Barnett Waddingham

Kim Durniat at Barnett Waddingham

Barnett Waddingham (BW) – Kim Durniat has been named the firm’s new business area leader for its insurance and longevity consulting team.

Durniat brings more than 25 years of insurance industry experience to the new position – including 15 years with BW. She replaces Scott Eason, whose appointment as one of four new managing partners at BW was announced this month.

As new business area leader, Durniat will be responsible for further strengthening BW’s client first strategy in the insurance space and working with Eason to extend the consultancy’s footprint in both the life and general insurance GI markets.

La Financière Responsible (LFR) – The French socially responsible investment specialist, which is majority owned by Spain’s MAPFRE Group, has appointed a new executive chair, Thierry Chesneau.

The appointment follows the retirement of LFR’s co-founder and executive chair Olivier Johanet, who remains a shareholder and member of its governing board.

Chesneau has more than 25 years of experience in the finance sector, principally managing sales and business development functions.

Law Debenture – The firm has announced the appointment of a new professional trustee, Rekha Owen. She will join the firm’s Manchester office, from which it has delivered pension trusteeship and governance services since 2022.

Owen joined this month from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where she led the supervision and oversight of one of the largest asset management firms in the UK. Prior to this, she spent two decades in the investment world, with previous roles at Mercer and KPMG, including leading Mercer’s alternative investments business in Canada.

John Burns at Universal

John Burns at Universal

Universal Investment Group – The firm has appointed John Burns as its group chief technology officer and a member of the executive board, effective 1 June 2024.

In this newly created role, Burns will oversee all aspects of technology, including the strategic direction and enhancement of the group’s IT platforms to propel continued growth and client-driven solutions.

With nearly three decades of experience in digital innovation and integrated technology, Burns is widely recognised for his strategic leadership at the intersection of technology and the fund industry. He joins from DWS Group, where he most recently served as global head of technology and operations. In this role, he was instrumental in executing the company’s transformative technology strategy, with a strong focus on business alignment and cloud-based solutions to boost performance.

Liontrust – Mark Hawtin has joined the specialist asset management firm as head of the global equities team. He has 40 years of investment experience and before joining Liontrust was investment director at GAM Investments, where he was head of global equities managing global equity long-only and long/short funds.

David Goodman, Kevin Kruczynski and Pieran Maru, who were part of Hawtin’s team at GAM, have also joined the global equities team at Liontrust. The team is taking on the management of a range of Liontrust global equity funds including the Liontrust Balanced Fund and the Liontrust Global Alpha Fund.

Hawtin and Goodman have also been appointed as sub-investment managers of the GAM Star Alpha Technology Fund, which will move to Liontrust in due course.

Moving internally at Liontrust to join the global equities team are Ewan Thompson, Tom Smith and Ruth Chambers, along with the emerging markets and Japan Equity funds they manage.

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