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People moves: GSK appoints UK pensions chief; LSR names new CEO [updated]

GlaxoSmithKline, LSR, Columbia Threadneedle, Gresham House, Law Debenture, AXA IM, Aon, ICG, Smart Pension, Cairn Capital, XPS, Svensk Försäkring, Achmea, AFM, Pensions Ombudsman, Northern Trust, SYZ AM, Morningstar, PIMCO

GlaxoSmithKline – The pharmaceuticals giant has appointed James Chemirmir as UK pensions director, responsible for overseeing GSK’s £12.6bn (€13.9bn) pension arrangements. He replaces Dan McDonald.

Chemirmir was previously an actuarial manager at audit and consultancy group EY , according to his LinkedIn page. He took up his role at GSK on 2 September.


LSR – Iceland’s Pension Fund for State Employees (LSR) has appointed Harpa Jónsdóttir as its new chief executive. She replaces Haukur Hafsteinsson , who announced his retirement in March, after working for the ISK826bn (€6bn) pension fund – Iceland’s largest – for 37 years. Jónsdóttir previously worked as director of the financial stability division at the Central Bank of Iceland. 


Columbia Threadneedle InvestmentsMark Burgess , CIO for the EMEA region and deputy global CIO at Columbia Threadneedle, is to leave the asset manager to take a career break after nine years at the firm. He will depart the firm on 27 September.

William Davies , currently the group’s global head of equities, will take on Burgess’ EMEA role, the company said. He joined Columbia Threadneedle in 1994 when it was founded, initially as a European equities portfolio manager. He became head of European equities in 1999 and of the global equities team in 2011. He has been global head of equities since 2017, overseeing all the company’s equity teams.

Burgess said: “In this ‘age of longevity’, I am looking forward to taking a break to spend time with my family, pursue some of my other interests and consider the next phase.

“The ability to hand over the mantle to William Davies, an exceptional investor and people leader, has made the decision easier and I look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of the EMEA investment team under William’s leadership.” 


Willis Towers Watson – The consultancy has named Rash Bhabra as head of its retirement business in Great Britain. Bhabra has been with Willis Towers Watson for more than 20 years, in roles such as head of the financial services group and head of corporate consulting, and is replacing Peter Rowles , who will be retiring at the end of 2019.

Rowles has spent the past five years as head of retirement for Great Britain, and will have worked at the consultancy for 32 years in total.


Gresham House – The UK-based asset manager has hired Richard Staveley from Majedie Asset Management as a managing director in its strategic public equity team.

Tony Dalwood, Gresham House CEO, said Staveley’s appointment would help the company’s push into offering listed equity products and strategies, following the launch of a joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments in March.

Before joining Majedie, where he was responsible for small caps, Staveley was a founding partner of River and Mercantile Asset Management. He has also served as head of UK small companies at Société Générale Asset Management.


Law Debenture – The listed professional services firm has appointed Keith Scott as a trustee director. He joins from BMO Global Asset Management where he was a client director, managing pension funds and focusing on liability-driven investments, credit, and ESG.

Scott was previously at IBM, where he spent 17 years in various pension roles – latterly European pensions director.


AXA Investment Managers – Simon Baxter has been appointed to the French asset manager’s “buy and maintain” fixed income team as a portfolio manager, based in London. The buy and maintain team focuses on global credit and “cashflow delivery” investment strategies and manages £305bn.

Baxter has previously worked at Morgan Stanley Investment Managers and BlackRock, in both cases managing global credit investments. 


Aon – The consultancy giant has appointed Stephen Purves as a partner in its risk settlement team. He was previously head of core business at UK-based insurer Aviva , responsible for four teams and leading on several bulk annuity transactions. He has also worked at Mercer and Higham Group.

Aon has advised on a number of major bulk annuity deals this year and has predicted that total transactions for 2019 could hit £40bn by the end of the year. 


Intermediate Capital Group (ICG)Julia Beinker has joined the €36.8bn asset manager as a managing director to support its growing distribution activities in Europe. She will initially focus on Austria and Germany, the company said. ICG’s assets under management in Austria and Germany have grown by 6% in the last two years, it added.

Beinker was previously at Muzinich & Co where she was also responsible for distribution in Austria and Germany. She has also worked for Deutsche Bank.


Smart Pension – UK-based Smart Pension has appointed Mark Howard as its general counsel for pensions and financial services. He joins from law firm Clyde & Co where he worked for 14 years, latterly as head of pensions.

Smart runs a UK defined contribution, multi-employer master trust. The trust received authorisation from the Pensions Regulator this week.


Cairn Capital – The $4.5bn (€4.1bn) credit investment specialist has named Nicholas Chalmers as its new CEO, succeeding founding CEO Paul Campbell .

Campbell co-founded Cairn Capital in 2004. He will continue to serve the firm as a senior adviser and a member of its investment and capital allocation committees, the company said in a statement.

Chalmers was previously CEO and president of boutique investment house Oceanwood Capital Management . His appointment is subject to regulatory approval. 


XPS Pensions Group – The UK consultancy firm has named Ben Gold as head of investment, taking over from Patrick McCoy who has become head of advisory for the company’s pensions and investment businesses.

In a statement, McCoy said his new role was aimed at ensuring XPS produced “well thought through, joined-up advice across all our advisory service lines, which helps clients meet their long term goals”.

Gold joined XPS nearly five years ago as head of investment for its Leeds office, and was previously an investment consultant at KPMG.


Svensk Försäkring  – Louise Sander has been appointed as the new chair of the industry organisation for Swedish insurance companies Svensk Försäkring. She is the chief executive of Handelsbanken Liv , the life arm of the Swedish banking conglomerate. and has been a member of the supervisory board of Svensk Försäkring since 2013. The insurance body said she took up the role on 1 September. 


AchmeaAchmea Pensioen & Levensverzekeringen has appointed Robert Otto and Michel Lamie as members of the division’s statutory board as of 1 September. They replaced Frans van der Ent and Martin Heuvelmans, division chairman and financial director, respectively, who are to continue in their roles.

Achmea said the moves were part of organisational and governance changes, designed to create closer links between the market-focused chains and to simplify the organisation’s management.


AFM – Dutch regulator Autoriteit Financiële Markten has named Rob Langezaal as member of its supervisory board (RvT) as of 1 September.

From 2007 to 2015, Langezaal was a member of the executive board of SNS Retail Bank. He worked as chief client officer at Volksbank between 2015 and 2018. Prior to this, he had several positions at telecoms firm KPN during a 25-year spell, including general director of KPN Retail. His appointment is for a 4-year period.

The AFM’s RvT is now complete and also comprises Martin van Rijn – a former CEO at the €211bn asset manager and pensions provider PGGM – Willemijn van Dolen, Wendy de Jong and David Voetelink.


The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) – Caroline Rookes , former chief executive of the Money Advice Service , has been appointed interim chair of TPO, the body responsible for resolving complaints relating to pension funds and retirement savings.

Prior to the Money Advice Service Rookes was director of private pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions. She is also an experienced pension trustee and from 2015 to 2019 was a non-executive trustee at NEST.


Northern Trust – The financial services giant has hired Rob Dixon from State Street to join its London-based transition management team, which covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Northern Trust has also appointed Mat Cook – also from State Street – to establish a dedicated transition management team in Sydney, Australia.


SYZ Asset Management – Adrien Pichoud , chief economist, has taken on the role of head of total return strategies, leading a new team. Under the new structure Maurice Harari will oversee equity allocation with the support of the global equity team for security selection, credit selection will be performed by the credit team led by Antonio Ruggeri , and Christophe Buttigieg will oversee the emerging market debt exposure.


MorningstarLibby Bernick will join Morningstar as its head of sustainability effective 9 September. She was most recently at Trucost , an ESG analytics firm that is now part of S&P Global, where she was most latterly managing director and global heaad of Trucost corporate business. 

She replaces Steven Smit , who recently left Morningstar. Her role at the fund analysis firm will be to lead its cross-functional ESG research team. 


PIMCONick Granger has been hired from Man Group as managing director and portfolio manager for quantitative analytics. The fixed income manager said he would lead its quantitative team from the company’s base in Newport Beach, California, working with its more than 255 portfolio managers. He will take up his role in the first quarter of next year.

At UK-listed hedge fund Man Group, Granger was chief investment officer for the Man AHL unit as well as a member of the group’s executive committee. He joined Man AHL in 2008, having previously been an equity derivatives strategist at JP Morgan.

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