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People moves: Legg Mason brings in chief diversity officer [updated]

Legg Mason, Franklin Templeton, Willis Towers Watson, Valida, Generation IM, Eaton Vance, XTP, ICG, BMO, Scope Group, Oekom Research

Legg Mason – The US multi-boutique asset manager has appointed Regina Curry as chief diversity officer. She joins from McCormick & Company where she was senior director of global diversity and inclusion.

In a statement the company said the hire was part of “a series of actions aimed at advancing and enhancing diversity and inclusion initiatives across Legg Mason”. This included Legg Mason CEO Joe Sullivan last year signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge along with 330 business leaders. 

David Sheasby, head of stewardship and ESG at Martin Currie, one of Legg Mason’s subsidiaries, said: “Diversity is one of the key attributes that we will look for in an organisation. With diversity comes diversity of experience and perspective, which not only helps avoid group-think and improve management of risk, but recent research shows that it can also contribute positively to financial returns.” 

Martin Currie – Separately, the Edinburgh-based fund manager has hired Nigel Murdoch from BlackRock as head of EMEA distribution, and Irene Brodie from Aberdeen Standard Investments as head of marketing.

Franklin Templeton Investments – Manraj Sekhon has been named as the new CIO for Franklin Templeton’s $45bn (€36bn) emerging market equity business. He will join the company on 19 February and will report to head of equities Stephen Dover. He joins from Singapore-based Fullerton Fund Management where he was CEO and CIO. He has also led the equities business at Henderson Global Investors (now Janus Henderson).

Franklin Templeton has also appointed Chetan Sehgal as lead manager of its Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust. Current manager Carlos Hardenberg is to leave the group at the end of March. The staff changes follow the retirement of Mark Mobius, the company’s veteran emerging markets manager, on 31 January after more than 30 years at Franklin Templeton.

Willis Towers Watson – The investment consultancy has a new head of its retirement division for Germany and Austria, with Heinke Conrad having taken over the role from Thomas Jasper. Conrad has been at Willis Towers Watson for over nine years, having been responsible for occupational pension actuarial consultancy. She is now part of the leadership team for Willis Towers Watson in Germany. Jasper is to concentrate on his role as head of retirement for western Europe but also client relations in Germany. 

Valida Vorsorgekasse – Beate Wolf has been appointed to Valida Plus AG, the board of the second-largest Austrian corporate provident fund. She takes up her role on 16 February, and will succeed Stefan Teufer upon his retirement in October. Vorsorgekassen are funds set up to manage the money employers have to set aside for their employees’ severance pay. The €2.7bn Valida Vorsorgekasse does this for the cooperative sector in Austria.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Nausicaa Delfas has been appointed executive director of international at the UK’s financial regulator. One of her main responsibilities will be overseeing the FCA’s response to Brexit as the UK’s financial services sector adapts to life outside the European Union. Delfas has worked at the regulator since 2000, when it was known as the Financial Services Authority. Most recently she was the FCA’s acting chief operating officer. Georgia Philippou has resumed the COO role after taking a period of leave.

Generation Investment ManagementJohn Bernstein has joined sustainability-focused asset manager Generation IM as a partner and chair of its growth equity investment committee. He was previously head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at General Atlantic, a global equity specialist manager, for 10 years. He remains an adviser to the company with responsibility for a number of its European investments, Generation said. Generation was founded by former Goldman Sachs CEO David Blood and former US vice-president Al Gore.

Eaton Vance Management – The US-based asset manager has hired a team of five fixed income investors from Oechsle International Advisors. The quintet will become part of Eaton Vance’s global income group. Led by Astrid Vogler, the team runs $830m from its office in Frankfurt.

XTP – The German cost transparency specialist has hired Nikolai Dördrechter to help it with its expansion plans. He co-founded and was chief financial and chief operating officer of Policen Direkt, an asset manager for traded endowment policies that also invests in tech start-ups in finance and insurance. Before that Dördrechter was a partner in the private equity and M&A division of consultancy Oliver Wyman.

XTP provides analysis that aims to help institutional investors increase the efficiency of their investment processes, optimise cost structures, close performance gaps and reduce operational risks. It is looking to hire two analysts, one for illiquid investments and one for its investment consulting division. 

Wells Fargo Asset Management – Wai Lee has been appointed global head of research, joining the firm’s multi-asset solutions team from Neuberger Berman. He worked at Neuberger for 14 years, and was its head of quantitative investments. Before that he was head of the quantitative engineering group at Credit Suisse Asset Management. Before joining the investment industry, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Wai won several prestigious awards for his research and is author of the book Theory and Methodology of Tactical Asset Allocation.

Intermediate Capital Group – The listed asset manager has hired Imene Boumalala to lead its institutional marketing operations in France, Italy, Spain, Geneva, Monaco and Israel. She joins from Neuberger Berman where she worked for 11 years, including seven with its institutional sales team. Boumalala has also worked for Morgan Stanley within its listed derivatives division.

BMO Global Asset Management – BMO plans to expand its fiduciary team in the Netherlands. Rogier van Harten, recently appointed as head of institutional distribution and client management for continental Europe, said the firm was set to hire at least two new staff to boost the capacity of its fiduciary management business. 

Scope Group – Christopher Hoffmann has been appointed to the newly created position of chief financial officer of the German credit ratings and investment research group. The position means there are now three members of the board. Hoffmann was previously head of finance at va-Q-tec, a high tech company that went from being private to publicly listed during his employment there. Before that he worked at private equity firm Zouk Capital.

oekom research – The sustainability rating agency has appointed Till Jung as chief client officer. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s marketing and communication activities, client relations and business development. Jung has been at oekom research since 2004, initially as a research analyst and most recently as head of business development.

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