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People moves: Australian pensions giant sets up European office [updated]

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AustralianSuper, Euronext, FRC, ASR, Robeco, PIMCO, Smart Pension, MJ Hudson Allenbridge, JPMAM, NNIP, Triodos IM, KPMG, Investec, Azimut, BNP Paribas, Kempen, Montae

AustralianSuper – The AUD120bn (€75.3bn) Australian pension fund has strengthened its European presence, appointing Damien Moloney to head a newly-created position of head of investments for Europe. He joins from Frontier Advisors where he has been CEO since 2011. He will lead the pension fund’s investment programme in the UK from its London office and oversee the pension fund’s offshore investments platform.

AustralianSuper CIO Mark Delaney said that with nearly half of AustralianSuper’s member assets now invested overseas “it is very important that we have a local presence in markets where we are investing”.

Moloney’s recruitment is also part of the fund’s strategy to bring management of its investments in-house and save an estimated AUD100m a year in costs. It is on target to manage 50% of member assets internally within five years – it currently runs roughly 30% of its portfolio in-house. AustralianSuper is the largest industry superannuation fund in Australia.

Euronext – The multinational stock exchange firm Euronext has elected Dick Sluimers as chairman of its supervisory board. He succeeds Rijnhard van Tets, who has chaired the board for the past 11 years and will leave on 15 May. Sluimers, who retired in 2016 as chief executive of the €456bn asset manager APG, was already vice chair of the supervisory board.

Financial Reporting Council – The UK audit and accounting watchdog has appointed Julia Unwin and Jenny Watson to its board with effect from 1 April. Unwin is a former chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and currently chairs an independent inquiry into the “Future of Civil Society in England”. Watson is chair of the independent complaints council at Portman Group, the oversight body for UK drinks producers, and is also a non-executive director of the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

ASR – Insurer ASR Netherlands plans to nominate Sonja Barendregt and Stephanie Hottenhuis as members of its supervisory board (RvC). Hottenhuis has been a member of the executive board of engineering firm Arcadis since 2012. Prior to this, she was responsible for the European activities of the company. Since 2013, Hottenhuis has been an RvC member at power grid operator TenneT. 

Robeco – Separately, Sonja Barendregt has also been appointed to the supervisory board of €161bn asset manager Robeco, effective 1 April. She succeeds Jan Nooitgedagt, who is to step down after four years. Barendregt started her career at one of the legal predecessors of PwC and was a partner there between 1998 and 2017, chairing its international pensions group.

PIMCO – The major fixed income investment manager has hired Gavin Power as executive vice president and head of international affairs and sustainable development. The hire is part of the firm’s efforts to grow its environmental, social and governance platform, which it launched last year. 

Before joining PIMCO, Power was the deputy executive director of the United Nations Global Compact, the platform used to advance sustainability efforts and responsible investment in more than 160 countries. He was also a co-founder of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and served on the PRI’s primary governance body from 2006 to 2018. Power will be based in California and report to Libby Cantrill, managing director and head of public policy. 

Smart Pension – The UK defined contribution pension provider has appointed Martin Freeman to lead its technology product development division. He joins from Capita where he was a senior consultant responsible for online engagement. He has also worked at JLT. His appointment follows other recent senior hires for the company, including Jamie Fiveash from The People’s Pension and Paul Budgen from NEST.

MJ Hudson Allenbridge – The UK investment adviser has appointed Cameron McMullen as a director. McMullen was previously at rival investment consultancy JLT where he led the promotion of the company’s services to the private and public sector, with a focus on local authority pension funds. Before that he was at Standard Life.  

JP Morgan Asset ManagementClaude Kurzo has been appointed country head for Switzerland. He has worked at JPMAM since 2012, having previously worked at consultancy McKinsey & Company. He moves from New York to Zurich to succeed the departing Patrick Beuret.

NN Investment Partners – The €246bn asset manager has named Lewis Jones as lead portfolio manager for its local currency emerging market debt (EMD) strategies. Based in New York, he becomes reponsible for daily management of all EMD local currency portfolios and is to report to Marcelo Assalin, the company’s head of EMD.

Jones started as senior portfolio manager EMD local currency in New York in 2016 and has 13 years of EMD experience, largely gained at BNP Paribas IP and Fisher Francis Trees & Watts in Boston. He has also worked at State Street Global Advisors in London and at Aviva in Boston. NN IP’s EMD team comprises of 19 investment professionals and has approximately $10bn under management.

Triodos IM – Kor Bosscher has been appointed managing director for risk and finance as well as a member of the executive board of the €3.5bn Triodos Investment Management. Until recently, he was chief executive and chief financial and risk officer at i-PensionSolutions, the low-cost DC vehicle (PPI), which has recently been taken over by ABN Amro PPI. Between 2008 and 2016, Bosscher was financial director at the €123bn asset manager and pensions provider MN.

KPMG  – Dave Lyons has joined the consultancy as head of investment advice to UK public sector pension funds. Lyons was previously at Aon Hewitt, where he was head of public sector investment consulting.  

Investec Asset Management – Alastair Leather has been hired as UK institutional sales director, reporting to Edward Evers, head of global consultants. Leather previously at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where he was most recently vice president of institutional sales, and a member of the strategic client group responsible for developing relationships with UK pension schemes. He was at Goldman Sachs for 10 years. 

Azimut – The Italian fund manager has hired Nicolò Bocchin as head of fixed income. He joins from Aletti Gestielle SGR where he was portfolio manager and responsible for the credit desk. Azimut is Italy’s biggest independent fund manager, running €51bn.

BNP Paribas AMMichiel Koudijs has started as business development manager at BNP Paribas AM, and is to become a member of the institutional sales team for the Netherlands. He joins from KAS Bank where he worked for 12 years, responsible for sales and client management for pension funds. He was also a member of the accountability body of his employer’s pension fund.

Kempen – Kempen Capital Management has appointed Mark Vreeswijk as client manager, tasked with extending the company’s relationships with pension funds and insurers. During the past three years Vreeswijk worked at Goldman Sachs in London, liaising with Dutch institutional investors. Prior to this, he sold fixed income products to Dutch pension funds and insurers at Barclays Capital.

MontaeMenko Nieland has joined Dutch pensions adviser Montae as consultant for balance and risk management. Nieland came from pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank where he was supervisor on the on-site team for pension funds and insurers.

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