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People moves: BlackRock hires Swiss scheme’s chair for ESG role [updated]

Profond, BlackRock, APG, Pension SuperFund, Vanguard, BNY Mellon IM, TrueBlue, Pensioenstichting Transport, Hymans Robertson, Union, BNP Paribas AM, The Investor Forum, ERI Scientific Beta, AXA IM

Profond/BlackRockMirjam Staub-Bisang, chair of the Swiss CHF7.8bn (€6.8bn) multi-employer pension scheme Profond, will become head of BlackRock in Switzerland and senior adviser for sustainable investment. According to Profond, she has resigned from all its committees with immediate effect, except the management committee. She remains chair of the scheme’s board.

Profond said Staub-Bisang’s BlackRock appointment was confirmation of her “long and vast financial sector experience and excellent strategic capabilities”. She had had a profound impact on Profond, added Laurent Schlaefli, Profond’s director.

Staub-Bisang co-founded and was CEO of Independent Capital Group, a Zurich-based asset management and real estate advisory firm, and has also held senior positions at Commerzbank and Swiss Life Private Equity Partners. She is the author of “Sustainable Investing for Institutional Investors” and co-author of “Infrastructure as an Asset Class”. She joined Profond in 2015 as a trustee.


APGRik Bekkers has started as fiduciary manager for fixed income at the €470bn Dutch asset manager APG. Bekkers joined from Achmea IM, where he worked as team manager for fixed income and senior investment specialist in fixed income during the past 12 years. Prior to this, Bekkers was a portfolio manager for fixed income at both Allianz and AXA Investment Managers.


The Pension SuperFund – The newly established UK defined benefit consolidator vehicle has appointed Richard Wohanka as chair of the board of the fund’s trustee company. The company has also named Antony Miller, CEO at 2020 Trustees, an independent adviser. A third trustee will be appointed in due course.

In a statement, the consolidator said its trustee board would be “completely independent” as it seeks to bring on board its first clients.

Wohanka has held chief executive roles at Union Bancaire Privée Asset Management, Fortis Investment Management, WestLB Asset Management, Baring Asset Management and Paribas Asset Management, and currently holds a number of trustee and advisory roles.


Vanguard – The $5.2trn (€4.6trn) passive asset manager has hired Marco Corsi to head a new UK-based team focused on global exchange-traded fund (ETF) research. His team will develop research materials for institutional investors, retail advisers, and self-directed investors, Vanguard said.

Corsi was previously a director at iShares, BlackRock’s dedicated ETF business, where he was responsible for product research and innovation. He has also worked at Decura, Barclays, and Merrill Lynch. 

Axel Lomholt, head of international ETFs, said the dedicated research team would aim to “produce perspective that will be topical and insightful to investors, regulators, and influencers”. Vanguard currently runs $968bn in ETFs. 


BNY Mellon Investment Management – The investment management giant has opened an office in Sweden, its first in the Nordic region, following the hire of Viktoria von Kunow in June from Hermes Investment Management as director of Nordic distribution.

She will work alongside Johan Stromberg, head of Nordic distribution, to market products from the company’s numerous asset management subsidiaries to clients across Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland.

Matt Oomen, global head of distribution at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said the Nordic region was “an important market for us and we see significant opportunities to bring in the successes of our global distribution model tailored to institutional and intermediary investors across the Nordic countries”.


TrueBlue – TrueBlue, the €322m Dutch pension fund for the IT sector, has appointed Aart van den Brink as a board member, representing trade union CNV Vakmensen. Van den Brink is a trustee at the industry-wide pension funds for the construction sector (BpfBouw) and hydraulic engineering (Waterbouw). He is also a member of the risk management committee of the Pensions Federation and a working group of the Social and Economic Council (SER) investigating a new pensions contract. Van den Brink succeeds Harrie de Vaan.


Pensioenstichting TransportCaroline Tuin has been named as secretary of the €1.1bn Dutch Pensioenstichting Transport, the company scheme of courier DHL. Tuin has worked as an actuarial consultant at Mercer and at Achmea, where she advised both the insurer and the group’s pension fund clients. Tuin is chair of the international branch of the Dutch Actuarial Society.


Hymans Robertson – The UK consultancy has promoted Mark Jaffray to be head of its defined contribution (DC) business. He has worked for the company since joining in 2005 from Clydesdale Bank. At Hymans he is currently head of its DC investment consulting team.

Jaffray said: “This is a time of great opportunity and change for workplace savings as we work to continue the success of auto-enrolment and embrace increasing choices members are being given at the point of retirement now that pension freedoms are in place. It’s vital that we continue to encourage pension saving throughout the working life and that our priority continues to be securing the best possible outcome for members.”

He replaces Lee Hollingworth who has moved to a “client solutions” role within the firm, Hymans Robertson said. 


Union Investment – Chief financial officer Andreas Zubrod is to leave the German asset manager at the end of the year to take up a new role in KPMG’s asset management advisory business. Zubrod has worked at Union since 2002, and joined the management board in 2014.


BNP Paribas Asset Management – The French investment house has named Corinne Massuyeau as global head of client services, a newly created role. She was previously at Pioneer Investments, where she worked since joining in 2001 as an analyst. She subsequently held several marketing roles, and after the 2017 merger with Amundi she became global head of institutional client services.


The Investor Forum – Jonathan Atack has joined The Investor Forum as a senior adviser, tasked with helping promote the investor engagement body’s work with companies. Atack has led investor relations at six large international companies, and has also worked as chief financial officer at ING Group.


ERI Scientific Beta – The smart beta index provider has named Alain Dubois as a senior adviser. Dubois has held several roles in asset management, ETFs and index provision, including managing director and global head of product management at MSCI. He was executive chairman of Lyxor for 10 years.


AXA Investment ManagersYannig Loyer has joined the French asset manager as its new global head of trading, overseeing equity, fixed income and foreign exchange trading. He was previously a managing director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for global markets senior relationship management for continental Europe. He has also worked at JP Morgan.

AXA IM said the position was “key” given the regulatory pressure on trading facilities and the group’s ongoing changes regarding technological and quantitative innovations.

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