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People moves: £8bn Church Commissioners appoints head of equities [updated]

Church Commissioners, PRI, Norfund, ESMA, Fondo Espero, Stap, FRC, AFM, AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Värde Partners, Calastone

Church Commissioners for EnglandMary-Pat Barron, previously director of investments for Sawdust Investment Management Corporation, has joined the £8bn (€8.9bn) investment arm of the Church of England as head of public equities. According to Church Commissioners, she relocated from Chicago to London in 2017, and has focused largely on European investments since then. She replaces Richard Saunders who left at the end of October.

The Church Commissioners has more than £3.5bn invested in public equities, primarily run by external managers. The public equity portfolio invests in long-only and long/short strategies in a responsible and ethical way for the Church of England.


Principles for Responsible Investment – Carmen Nuzzo has been made head of fixed income at the PRI, a new position at the organisation. She began working for the organisation in April 2017 and so far has been focused on its credit risk and ratings initiative, which aims to “enhance the transparent and systematic integration of ESG factors in credit risk analysis”. 

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Archie Beeching was formerly the manager of PRI’s fixed income work stream before leaving to join asset manager Muzinich & Co earlier this year. According to her LinkedIn profile, Nuzzo was senior macro economist at Morgan Stanley for two-and-a-half years before joining the PRI, a position she also held at Salomon Brothers and then Citigroup.  


Norfund – Norwegian state development finance institution Norfund has appointed Olaug Svarva as the new chair of its supervisory board. She replaces Kristin Clemet, who has served as chair for the last 12 years.

Svarva was chief executive of Folketrygdfondet – which runs the country’s domestic sovereign wealth fund, Government Pension Fund Norway – for almost 12 years until she left in February 2018. She is currently chair of the supervisory board of Norwegian financial group DNB and has also served on a number of other Norwegian company supervisory boards.


European and Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) – The EU financial markets watchdog has reappointed Erik Thedéen, director general of Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority, to its management board. ESMA said Thedéen would remain a member for another term of two and a half years, beginning on 1 October, after the current term expires on 30 September.

Other re-elections made by the authority’s supervisory board include Robert Ophèle from the French stock market regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers and Sebastian Albella-Amigo from the Spanish National Securities Market Commission. 


Fondo Espero – Italian pension scheme for education staff Fondo Espero has appointed Massimo Di Menna as the president of its board of directors. The €1.1bn fund also elected Maria Maddalena Novelli as deputy president. Di Menna is a representative of the employee association, while Novelli represents the employers’ association. The new board is to remain in office for three years from 2019 to 2022. 


StapKarin Roeloffs has joined the supervisory board of Stap, the Dutch pension consolidator vehicle of insurer Aegon. She succeeded Jan Overmeer, who was not available for a second term.

Between 2011 and 2018, Roeloffs was a partner at Mercer Netherlands where she headed the investment team. Last year she joined Avida as an associate partner. Roeloffs, an economist, has experience in strategic asset allocation, governance, outsourcing, relationship management and risk management.


Financial Reporting Council (FRC) – The UK’s audit regulator has appointed Liz Murrall to chair its Corporate Reporting Council. Murrall is currently director of stewardship and reporting at the Investment Association, the trade body representing the UK investment management industry.

In addition, Andrew Kail has joined the FRC’s Audit & Assurance Council. He is currently head of financial services at PwC.


AFMDavid Voetelink has started as member of the supervisory board of Dutch regulator the Financial Markets Authority (AMF). He succeeded Rob Becker, who is not available for a second four-year term following his appointment as non-executive director of insurer AXA UK.

Voetelink, an economist, is vice chairman and CFO on the executive board of Erasmus Medical Centre and has been working as chair and partner at KPMG Health since 2000.

Martin van Rijn, chair of the AFM’s board, said that Voetelink knew the accountancy sector, had ample board experience and broad financial knowledge. The board also comprises Willemijn van Dolen and Wendy de Jong. There is a vacancy for a fifth member. 


AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM)Rachel Basarab-Horwath has joined the €730bn asset manager as institutional sales director, tasked with developing opportunities with institutional investors including corporates, pension schemes and professional trustees. She was previously a sales director and senior investment consultant at Mercer.


BNP Paribas Asset Management – The French asset management giant has hired Ulrik Fugmann and Edward Lees to run a global long/short sustainability strategy, focusing on the energy, materials, agriculture and industrial sectors.

The pair joined last month from Duet Group where they were co-CIOs, roles they had held since 2015 when Duet bought North Shore Partners, a boutique investment house Fugmann and Lees founded in 2012. They previously also worked together at Goldman Sachs.

Guy Davies, CIO of fundamental active equities at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: “Ulrik and Edward are highly experienced thematic investors whose passion for sustainable investing in public and private markets is matched by their acknowledged expertise. Their recognised investment approach of augmenting fundamental analysis with quantitative techniques and machine learning is ideally suited to complementing and enhancing BNP Paribas’s existing capabilities.”


Värde Partners – The $14bn (€12.5bn) alternatives specialist has appointed Ilfryn Carstairs as co-CEO, effective from 1 January 2020. He will hold the role alongside Värde co-founder George Hicks, who plans to transition to an executive chair role in 2022. Carstairs is currently global CIO, a role he has held since 2017. He joined Värde in 2006 and previously led its corporate and traded credit team.

Hicks said: “Transition is a process and involves the entirety of the firm. The roles Ilfryn and I play are just part of that process whereby a new generation of leaders succeed the founders… [The appointment] will enable Värde to continue delivering for our investors and will help to ensure that we maintain our strong culture long into the future.”


CalastoneJames Donaldson has been appointed chief financial officer at Calastone, a provider of fund transaction services. He was previously CFO at software provider Ciklum and has previously worked for online travel companies Travelocity and LastMinute.com.

Calastone recently launched a blockchain-based trading system for investment funds, dubbed the “distributed market infrastructure”. The company said Donaldson would play “a key role in developing the business as clients start to leverage the enhancements made possible through the new technology”.

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