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People moves: PenSam leadership becomes one-man show

Varma, Swedbank Robur, KPA Pension, ABN Amro Pensioenfonds, NN Group, SRB, Hymans Robertson, MSCI, BNP Paribas, Aviva, Willis Towers Watson, Muzinich & Co

PenSamBenny Buchardt Andersen, director of DKK105bn (€14.1bn) PenSam, has decided to resign from the company at the end of September. Andersen, who is part of PenSam’s two-man leadership team alongside director Torsten Fels, said that after some very exciting and busy years at the Danish labour market pension fund, it was time for him to try something different. He has worked at PenSam for 10 years and became director a year ago. The company said that from now on, it would be led by Fels alone. Fels is now listed as chief executive of PenSam on its website. PenSam recently poached Claus Jørgensen from competitor PKA to become its new CIO.  

VarmaHanna Kaskela has been appointed to the newly-created role of director of responsible investment at Varma, with effect from 1 September. She will report to Varma’s CIO, Reima Rytsölä, and will be a member of the Finnish pension insurance company’s investment operations’ executive group. A spokeswoman for the company said the creation of the new role underlined the significance of responsible investments for the firm. Varma’s responsible investing specialist had resigned from her position earlier, she said, and the company then decided to re-evaluate the responsible investment operations as a whole. Varma plans to recruit an analyst to further boost its responsible investment resources, the spokeswoman said.

Swedbank RoburEva Axelsson has been hired by Swedbank Robur, Swedbank’s asset management subsidiary, as its new head of sustainability research. She comes to the company from Swedish local authority pension fund KPA Pension, where she was head of sustainability. She will start her new job in mid-October this year. Axelsson is replacing Anna Nilsson, who left Swedbank Robur in June.

ABN Amro PensioenfondsFred Steenwinkel has been named a non-executive member of the one-tier-board of the €26bn ABN Amro Pensioenfonds, representing the scheme’s pensioners. Steenwinkel had previously been a member of the pension fund’s accountability body. He is also a board member at the €652m pension fund Equens and the Dutch association of pensioners organisations (NVOG).

SRBJoanne Kellermann is to leave the Single Resolution Board, the European body tasked with managing bank bankruptcies, where she was a director. Her announcement came as a surprise, as she was two-and-a-half years into a term that would have ended in 2020. According to an SRB spokeswoman, Kellermann wanted to “broaden her horizon”. Kellermann left Dutch supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank in 2014, having been director of pension fund supervision for seven years. She was the first female member of DNB’s executive board. Prior to her job at DNB, Kellermann worked as a lawyer at NautaDutilh. She said she would stay on at the SRB until a successor has been found.

Nationale Nederlanden (NN Group) – NN Group has appointed Arthur van der Wal, its director of pensions since 2014, to the new position of chief executive of Movir, its subsidiary for labour disability insurance. He started at NN’s collective pensions business and continued at ING Investment Management, where he worked from 1999 to 2011, when he became chief executive of pensions provider and NN subsidiary AZL. Van der Wal has been a member of the executive council of the Pensions Federation and is a member of the foundation council of Netspar, the network for pensions researchers and professionals, and of the advisory board of PensioenLab, the pensions think tank for young workers.

MSCIGuido Giese has joined the company as executive director for equity research, based in London. He was previously head of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) index solutions at RobecoSAM, and before that head of product development at STOXX. Earlier this month, MSCI ESG Research announced the appointment of Mervyn Tang as head of ESG research for Asia Pacific ex-Japan, based in Hong Kong. Tang previously worked at Fitch Ratings, where he was director, Asia Pacific sovereigns, responsible for sovereign analysis and macro forecasting.

BNP ParibasJoost Höppener has started as head of institutional sales at BNP Paribas Asset Management. He has succeeded Rogier van Harten, who was head of institutional clients for continental Europe and the Netherlands. This role has been abolished following the establishment of sales positions for individual countries. Höppener was previously senior relationship manager at BNP Paribas AM. He had a similar job at Fortis Investments before joining BNP Paribas AM. He has also worked as a sales manager at ABN Amro Asset Management.

Aviva Investors – The asset manager has hired Sunil Krishnan as head of multi-asset funds. He will join the company in October, from Santander Asset Management. At Santander he was a senior portfolio manager responsible for outcome-oriented funds and asset allocation strategy. Krishnan’s previous roles include head of global asset allocation at Hermes Investment Management and head of market strategy at the BT Pension Scheme, Hermes’ owner. Aviva Investors has also appointed Gavin Counsell as a manager on the Aviva Investors Multi Strategy funds. Counsell has worked at the asset manager for more than five years and replaces Nick Samouilhan, who has joined T Rowe Price.

Willis Towers Watson Paul Devitt has joined the consultancy as a director in its global services and solutions practice. He joined from Aon Risk Solutions, where he specialised in global benefits consulting for over 15 years. He has specialist expertise in employee benefit captive consulting, which aims to help companies protect themselves against the rising cost of providing employee benefits.

Hymans RobertsonTom Dunster has joined the independent pensions and benefits consultancy as a senior investment research consultant. He will lead the firm’s equity research. Before joining Hymans, Dunster was head of fund research at C Hoare & Co, where he worked for six years. He has also worked at Principal Investment Management, now Sanlam Private Wealth, and HSBC Asset Management.

Muzinich & Co – The corporate credit specialist has promoted Josh Hughes, formerly managing director of marketing and client relations, to head of global distribution with a focus on key international accounts. The position is new. 

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