Cardano, Standard Life, NEST, Nuveen, Brightwell, La Française, Folketrygdfondet

NEST – The UK workplace pension scheme has confirmed that Rachel Farrell is to take up the position of director of public and private markets at NEST.

The newly-created role, which will report to the chief investment officer, will provide an additional level of seniority in NEST’s investment team, helping the pension scheme oversee the growth of its portfolio to an expected £100bn by the end of the decade.

Farrell brings to the role a broad and deep technical investment knowledge in traditional and alternative investments across US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific markets. This knowledge was fine-tuned during a decade at JP Morgan, which culminated in her appointment as CEO and country head of JP Morgan Asset Management Australia and New Zealand.

Farrell’s other roles have included managing director at Citi Capital Advisors and head of global portfolio management BTAG (now Deutsche Bank).

FolketrygdfondetBjarte Espedal started a new job in October as portfolio manager at Norway’s Folketrygdfondet, which manages the Government Pension Fund Norway and the Government Bond Fund.

Espedal is filling the vacancy left at the institution by Karl Mathisen’s promotion to chief investment officer, equities earlier this year. Espedal joins from the New York office of Norges Bank Investment Management, where he led the equity enhanced indexing department of the central bank arm, which manages the Government Pension Fund Global.

Mathisen said Espedal brought with him much experience and expertise in, among other things, cost-effective portfolio implementation and multi-strategy-driven management from NBIM, from its Shanghai, London, and New York offices. “He will be a great addition to our equity team,” Mathisen said.

Emily Benson at Brightwell

Emily Benson

Brightwell – The end-to-end service provider for defined benefit pension schemes and primary service provider to the BT Pension Scheme, has announced the appointment of Emily Benson as head of business development, investment and fiduciary management.

In this newly-created role, Benson will be responsible for business development in the investment and fiduciary management space for Brightwell, with a mandate to expand the franchise to other pension schemes seeking a long-term partner to deliver sustainable funding and investment solutions.

Benson joins from Royal London Asset Management where she was head of segregated funds within the institutional client business. She has also held other institutional client relationship and sales roles at BlackRock.

Nuveen – The $1.1trn global asset manager has expanded its global responsible investment strategy and stewardship teams with the hires of Sasha Miller and Enrico Colombo.

Miller joins Nuveen as head of responsible investment strategy for EMEA and APAC. In the newly-created role, she will be responsible for partnering with key business leaders to drive the growth of Nuveen’s responsible investment offerings and solutions across the regions and further supporting its new and existing clients’ evolving needs.

Miller has more than 19 years of experience in the asset management industry. She joins from Schroders where she was most recently head of client proposition and strategy. Based in London, Miller will report to Kelly Hagg, head of global responsible investing strategy and solutions.

Colombo joins the firm as senior director of stewardship. He will be responsible for further enhancing Nuveen’s direct company engagement globally, and its leading stewardship and engagement programme and strategy.

Colombo has nearly a decade of experience, and joins from Vanguard where he was lead analyst for investment stewardship. He will report to Peter Reali, global head of stewardship at Nuveen, and will be based in London.

CardanoMatt Harrison and Sinead Leahy have been appointed co-heads of Cardano Advisory, effective 1 January 2024. Harrison will continue to lead the trustee services practice while Leahy will continue to lead the corporate advisory services practice.

After 16 years at Cardano Advisory, Darren Redmayne has decided to step down from being CEO at the end of the year. He will continue to be a board adviser to Cardano.

Harrison has been a managing director at Cardano since 2014 (when it was formerly Lincoln Pensions, acquired by Cardano in 2016). Before Lincoln Pensions, Harrison spent over 14 years at EY. He has considerable experience advising some of the UK’s largest and most complex pension schemes on all aspects of employer covenant, scheme specific funding and transaction-related pensions advice.

Leahy joined Cardano in 2022 and spent most of her career, 20 years, at NatWest Markets where she was head of the pension solutions group and latterly head of alternative asset distribution. More recently, she was head of pension investment consulting at PwC and immediately prior to joining Cardano worked with Alpha Real Capital in an advisory capacity. Leahy is an investment specialist with extensive experience working with large schemes and their corporate sponsors on a range of pension issues.

Helen Dean NEST

Helen Dean

Standard Life – The firm has made two appointments to the Standard Life Master Trust Company Limited board (SLMTC). Helen Dean, the outgoing CEO of NEST, is to take on the role of chair of the SLMTC, overseeing the interests of more than 300,000 master trust scheme members.

Dean’s appointment will take effect in May 2024, subject to regulatory approval, replacing current chair Richard Butcher after a long and distinguished tenure as a board member of SLMTC and its chair since 2015.

Dean is one of the leading figures in UK pensions with a long-standing interest in addressing financial inequalities and promoting financial resilience. She has led some of the most significant developments in pensions over the past two decades and is credited as the architect of the programme that delivered auto-enrolment in 2010. She was also instrumental in establishing a low-cost pension scheme for the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA), prior to it becoming NEST. Dean has been CEO of NEST since 2015.

In a further appointment, Gurmukh Hayre will join Dean as a trustee director board member of SLMTC from 1 April 2024, pending regulatory approval, while Rene Poisson will end his tenure as independent trustee director, after nine successful years in the role.

An accredited professional independent trustee, ex KPMG partner and the head of the DC pensions practice, Hayre has wide-reaching pension industry experience gained over many decades.

La FrançaiseThomas Ostré has been appointed as head of business development – Middle East and global financial institutions relationship manager of La Française, reporting to Gerardo Duplat, head of international business development.

Ostré has nine years of experience in the asset management industry. He started his career with La Française as a marketing product manager in 2014 and shortly after joined the distribution team of Fred Alger Management in London, as an international sales manager.

Owing to his product expertise, Ostré was able to develop the institutional and wholesale segments in the UK while supporting the international development (Europe/Asia) of Fred Alger Management. After four years in London, he returned to Paris and was appointed international real estate business development manager at La Française, developing the real estate range for institutional clients in Europe, EMEA and Canada.

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