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People moves: CEO of £44bn UK public pension pool to step down [updated]

LGPS Central, AQR Capital Management, Redington, Talisman, University of Cambridge Endowment Fund, 300 Club, Franklin Templeton, Osmosis

LGPS CentralAndrew Warwick-Thompson is to step down from his role as CEO of one of the UK’s eight local government pension scheme (LGPS) asset pools, it was announced yesterday. He joined the pool last July from The Pensions Regulator, where he had been executive director for regulatory policy.

Announcing Warwick-Thompson’s decision to step down, Joanne Segars, chair of LGPS Central, praised the work he had done to steer the company through to its launch earlier this year, and said he would be leaving with the organisation’s “best wishes for the future”.  

“His contribution means that today the company is a fully functioning fund manager responsible for the management and stewardship of nearly £14bn (€15.7bn) of LGPS assets,” she said.

“In addition, he has recruited a talented team of professionals to the company’s senior leadership team. As the company now enters its post-launch, business as usual, phase, Andrew feels the time is right for someone else to take the helm.”

LGPS Central has launched three equity funds since opening for business in April. It plans to open at least two more funds later this year. The nine UK LGPS funds forming the pool have £44bn of assets between them.

AQR Capital Management – The Conneticut-based global quantitative investment manager has hired Marcos López de Prado as head of machine learning to work with its existing research organisation. He will be part of the research and portfolio management teams and will focus on further developing the machine learning tools and techniques used at the firm, which said it would look to bring on more resources to further develop machine learning tools.  

An expert in the field, López de Prado has written a graduate textbook, Advances in Financial Machine Learning, and has published dozens of scientific articles on machine learning and supercomputing in leading academic journals. 

Most recently, he founded and led Guggenheim Partners’ Quantitative Investment Strategies business, where his team developed high-capacity machine learning strategies and managed portfolios for up to $13bn (€11bn) in assets. Since 2011, he has been a research fellow at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, a US department of energy lab managed by University of California. 

Redington – Robin Claessens has left the investment consultancy, where he was a managing director, to move to Belgium to be closer to his family. Claessens was chief executive and chief investment officer of the £4.5bn Invensys Pension Scheme until 2012, and joined Redington in May 2014 from BBOXX Ltd, a start-up designing and manufacturing solar-based electric systems. He was chief financial officer and then adviser at that company.

Talisman Global Asset ManagementNick Cavalla is leaving the University of Cambridge Endowment Fund, where he has been CIO for 10 years, to join the family office of the Pears family. He will be joined at Talisman by three colleagues – Bruce Lockwood, Conor Cassidy and Vincent Fruchard – to manage the firms’s assets and launch an investment outsourcing platform (OCIO) platform in 2019. Cavalla joined the University of Cambridge Endowment Fund in 2007 from Man Global Strategies.

300 ClubElizabeth Corley , the former CEO of Allianz Global Investors, has joined the group of investment professionals that aims to challenge mainstream investment practice. Corley serves on three company boards as a non-executive director – Pearson plc, BAE Systems plc and Morgan Stanley Inc – and is a trustee of the British Museum. She is also the chair of a UK government-commissioned industry taskforce on impact investing

Franklin Templeton InvestmentsSonal Desai has been promoted to chief investment officer of the manager’s $157bn (€135bn) fixed income group and executive vice president, with effect from December 31. The move will see her succeeding Chris Molumphy, who retires at the end of the year. Desai joined Franklin Templeton in 2009 as director of research for Templeton Global Macro, a role she will be replaced in by Calvin Ho, who has been serving as her deputy director of research. Ho will assume portfolio management responsibilities for a number of Templeton Global Macro strategies, reporting directly to Michael Hasenstab, Templeton Global Macro’s executive vice president and chief investment officer.

Osmosis Investment Management – The $1.5bn (€1.3bn) systematic sustainable investment manager has appointed Mike Even, currently on the investment committee of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Management Board, to its board and hired Paul Udall as a portfolio manager. Even was chief executive and then chairman of Man Numeric Investors, leaving the firm last year. He has also been global chief investment officer of Citigroup Asset Management. Udall was most recently at Temporis Capital, where he managed global equities portfolios for clients that included the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. He has also worked at Climate Change Capital, Tudor Capital and Aviva Investors. Swedish national buffer fund AP1 is one of Osmosis’ clients.

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