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People moves: CEO of Norway's domestic sovereign fund resigns

GPFN, Folketrygdfondet, AFM, Eumedion, Church of England, Aon, Neuberger Berman, NN Investment Partners, Allianz Global Investors, Robeco, ARC Pensions Law, APG, State Street, Mirabaud Asset Management, Aegon Asset Management, OppenheimerFunds

Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN)Olaug Svarva is to leave the domestically-invested arm of Norway’s oil fund in February after 12 years at its helm. Svarva, who is one year away from receiving an early-retirement pension from the fund, told Folketrygdfondet – GPFN’s management group – that she wanted to resign in order to look for new opportunities.

Svarva said: “I have had a fantastic time as leader of Folketrygdfondet. Now, however, I want to seek new opportunities and contribute to the development of Norwegian business in other ways.”

She will continue as chief executive of GPFN until 1 February, at which point deputy chief executive Lars Tronsgaard will take over her role until a successor is in place, said Folketrygdfondet.

GPFN is the smaller of Norway’s two sovereign wealth funds, which invest the country’s vast revenues from petroleum activities built up over the last few decades. The larger fund is the NOK8.2trn (€865bn) Government Pension Fund Global, which invests outside the Nordic region, while the GPFN invests in Norway and other Nordic countries and has NOK234bn of assets.

AFMDiana van Everdingen is to depart as member of the supervisory board (RvT) of Dutch communication watchdog Authority Financial Markets (AFM) as of 1 November, after completing two four-year terms. During this period, she has been deputy chair as well as vice chair of the supervisor. The AFM said Van Everdingen had contributed in particular through her expertise on legal matters, corporate governance and capital markets.

EumedionWouter van Eechoud has been appointed to the board of Eumedion, the corporate governance and sustainability platform for institutional investors. Van Eechoud is director of the €5bn Dutch pension fund of IBM. Prior to this, he was supervisor for pension funds at regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). At Eumedion, Van Eechoud succeeds Erik Breen of Triodos Investment Management. Marcel Andringa, executive trustee at the €46bn metal scheme PME, has been named as Eumedion’s treasurer on the executive board. Eumedion has 60 members who represent €5trn of assets.

Church of EnglandGareth Mostyn has been appointed as chief finance and operations officer for the National Church Institutions of the Church of England. The role encompasses the Church Commissioners – responsible for running a £6.7bn investment fund – and the Church of England Pensions Board. He is currently executive head of strategy and corporate affairs at De Beers, a diamond mining company, and will take up his new role in early 2018.

Aon Austria –  Helmut Geil has rejoined the consultancy group after a short stint away. From the beginning of this month he is managing director of Aon Austria, and a member of the management board of Aon Holdings Austria. He joined Aon in 2001, moving up to eventually become chief executive of Aon’s reinsurance intermediary in Austria, Aon Benfield Rückversicherungsmakler. He left Aon in August this year to join the board of muki, an Austrian insurer.

Neuberger Berman – The US firm has appointed Jamie Wong as head of consultant relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She was previously at Janus where she was head of UK and European institutional sales, and has also worked at Lazard Asset Management. In addition, Robert Payne has joined from UBS to oversee Neuberger Berman’s work with insurers. At UBS Payne worked on customised strategies for insurers and pension funds in the UK and the Netherlands.

NN Investment Partners – The asset manager’s German unit has appointed Christian Gohlke to the newly created role of director of institutional sales, with responsibility for specialist fixed income, in particular alternative credit and private debt. Gohlke joins from Citigroup Global Markets, where he has worked since 2010. Most recently he was director of fixed income sales, with responsiblity for structured credit sales for asset managers, insurers and banks.

Allianz Global Investors – The investment management group has appointed Jason Allan as director of institutional business development for the UK. He joins from State Street where he was UK head of pension funds. Allianz has also hired Amundi’s deputy CEO Leon Douch to lead its asset management service for UK insurers. Margaret Frost, head of UK institutional at Allianz Global Investors, said the hires were part of the firm’s “ambitious plans” for its UK business.

Robeco – The Dutch asset manager has hired Paul Jeffries as executive director for business development. He joins from AQR Capital Management, where he held a similar role. He joined AQR in 2013 from hedge fund manager Permal and has also worked as an investment manager at RPMI Railpen, the UK’s industry pension fund for the railway sector. Jeffries will oversee relationships with Robeco’s existing and new investor and consultant clients in the UK and Ireland.

ARC Pensions Law – Senior associate Anna Copestake has been made partner at the UK specialist pension law firm. ARC was founded in June 2015 and now has eight partners. Copestake is the firm’s first internal partner promotion and means almost 90% of the partners are female. Copestake joined ARC from Sackers in 2016, where she was a senior associate. She chairs the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s legal panel and is a member of the Security of Assets Working Party and the investment committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers.

APGHarmen Geers has left as senior spokesman of APG, the €456bn asset manager of the large Dutch civil service scheme ABP. Geers, who said he was taking a sabbatical, has been in his role since 2010.

State Street Corporation – The financial services giant has appointed Michelle Grundmann as head of global services for continental and southern Europe. She will join the group’s Frankfurt office in February. Most recently, Grundmann was head of investor services at JP Morgan, covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She has also worked at BNY Mellon, Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch Investment Management and Bankers Trust Company of New York.

Mirabaud Asset Management – The Swiss asset manager has launched an emerging market debt fund for new hire Daniel Moreno. He joins as a senior portfolio manager from Rubrics Asset Management, a London-based fixed income boutique.

Aegon Asset Management – The investment manager has opened a new office in Germany. Sven Becker will lead the business in Frankfurt. Aegon and its subsidiaries TKP Investments and Kames Capital will operate under the brand Aegon Asset Management Pan Europe BV.

OppenheimerFunds – The US asset manager has opened a new office in London as its headquarters for EMEA. The office is led by Doug Stewart, head of EMEA. The company has also hired Dicken Watson as chief operating officer for EMEA, also based in London. He was previously director of compliance and senior counsel at Affiliated Managers Group.

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  • Olaug Svarva, CEO, Government Pension Fund Norway

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