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People moves: Willis Towers Watson names sales head for OneDB

Willis Towers Watson, Mercer, Nuveen, ABN Amro, Heineken, Syntrus Achmea, Avida International, PGIM, VvV, Bouwinvest

Willis Towers Watson – The consultancy has appointed James Lewis as head of sales for OneDB, its integrated actuarial, administration and investment pension service.

Lewis will be responsible for supporting the delivery of OneDB to new clients, in response to a significant growth in demand from trustees and corporates seeking an integrated service for their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme journey and business plan.

Lewis joins from Mercer, where he spent nine years as senior sales leader, responsible for the sale and marketing of services across the business, leveraging both internal and external relationships.

Prior to this, he was senior sales consultant at JLT Benefit Solutions, which followed a decade spent at Aon Consulting in various roles, where he was responsible for client satisfaction, client development and new business opportunities.

OneDB brings together the suite of WTW’s technology, intellectual capital and innovation services and expertise, creating a joined-up strategy that reduces risk, controls cost and improves service for trustees and members, through a single provider.

Gareth Strange, head of OneDB at WTW, said: “The launch of OneDB has provided trustees and corporates with a radical approach to managing largely legacy-defined benefit liabilities. Appointing James Lewis as a business development leader ensures we can support a significant growth in the number of clients and show prospects the value OneDB can bring to them and their members.”


Pensioenfonds Horeca en CateringRené Rijk has joined the €12bn Dutch pension fund for the hospitality industry as an investment manager. He joined from TKP Investments, where he had worked for more than 10 years, primarily in real estate portfolio management. His role at Pensioenfonds Horeca en Catering covers all asset classes the pension fund allocates to – from equities, bonds and alternatives such as real estate and private equity. The pension fund invests entirely via external asset managers.  


Nuveen – Jose Minaya, the asset manager’s president, has been appointed to the position of chief executive officer effective 13 January next year, when current CEO Vijay Advani becomes executive chairman. 

Minaya was named president of Nuveen, the investment manager of US pension fund TIAA, in June this year. He joined TIAA in 2004, became leader of Nuveen’s real assets business in 2015, leader of all of Nuveen’s global investments organisation in 2016, and then CIO in 2018. As CEO, he will lead the firm’s day-to-day operations, help set strategy in partnership with Advani, drive key initiatives and chair the Nuveen executive committee. 

As executive chairman, Advani will specifically concentrate on three key growth areas: impact and ESG investing; the further development of Nuveen Labs; and growing Nuveen’s business and investment capabilities outside the US.


ABN Amro Pensioenfonds – The €29bn pension funds of Dutch ABN Amro bank has named Marcel Verheul as chairman of its executive board as of 1 February. He is to succeed Mattijs Hooglander, who had chaired theboard since the departure of Geraldine Leegwater last year. Currently, Verheul is director client relations at pensions provider AZL. He worked at provider PGGM between 2006 and 2015, the last five years of which he was director of institutional relations.


Heineken Pensioenfonds – Olaf Flippo has started as director of the €3.8bn Dutch pension fund of Heineken, succeeding Frank de Waardt who has taken retirement after 20 years in the job. During the past nine years, Flippo has been Global Director Rewards at Heineken, also responsible for pensions. Between 1997 and 2003, he was acturial adviser at consultancy PwC. He has also been chairman of the pension fund’s accountability body.


Syntrus Achmea – Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance (SAREF) has appointed Daan van der Werf as Director Investor Relations as of 1 January 2020, responsible for account management, business development, marketing and communication. He is to succeed Philip Hosman who left for Altera Vastgoed. Van der Werf is to join from Triodos Investment Management, where he is temporary head of business development and investor relations. Prior to this, he worked at Delta Lloyd AM, Kempen CM and ABN Amro AM.


Avida International – The firm has appointed Patrick Woods as head of commercial development based in the UK. Having commenced his career lecturing in Economics at the Dundalk Institute of Technology Business School, Woods joined Standard Life’s Irish investment team in Edinburgh in the mid-1990s, initially as economist and equities analyst. Over the subsequent decade he went on to manage multi-asset portfolios joining the organisation’s global asset allocation committee. Following a period where he was responsible for the management of Standard Life Investments Irish business, he was tasked with establishing the organisation in Europe. He achieved considerable success, with the firm becoming a leading asset manager in the Dutch institutional marketplace. More recently, he has been responsible for the management and development of key relationships incorporating clients in North America and Scandinavia.


PGIM – The $1.3trn (€1.2trn) global investment management business of Prudential Financial, has made three hires into its Institutional Relationship Group (IRG), all reporting to Cameron Lochhead, global head of IRG. IRG is dedicated to deepening strong relationships with chief investment officers and senior investors at global institutional clients and continuing to grow PGIM’s reputation for superior client service.

In Europe, IRG has expanded its local presence with two senior additions to the team. Stephen Oxley has joined as managing director based in London, responsible for continental Europe and Middle East client coverage, while Udo von Werne, also a managing director, based in Zurich, is responsible for the DACH regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Oxley joins from PAAMCO Prisma (formerly Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co.) where he was for 16 years, most recently as vice chairman and partner, heading up PAAMCO’s European office and working with clients across Europe and the Middle East. Prior to that he was a senior investment consultant at Watson Wyatt.

Von Werne was previously at Nikko Asset Management where he was chief executive officer for the EMEA region, based in London, and prior to that was head of institutional clients, Continental Europe, at Pictet Asset Management for 15 years, based in Zurich. Previously, he held senior roles at Zurich Financial Services and UBS in Zurich. He replaces IRG’s Wolfgang Sussbauer, who becomes head of Germany & Austria at PGIM Fixed Income, based in PGIM’s Munich office.

In the US, Keshav Rajagopalan has joined IRG as institutional client director, working with clients across the US and Canada, as well as leading a number of global strategic initiatives. He joins from PGIM Investments, the global manufacturer and fund distributor of PGIM, where he was co-head of the ETF business having spent the last three years spearheading the firm’s entrance into the space. Prior to joining PGIM Investments, he spent several years on the PGIM corporate strategy team supporting senior leaders across the business on various strategic priorities. Earlier in his career he was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.


VvV – The Dutch Association of Insurers (VvV) has appointed Geeke Feiter-van Heuvelen as director, in addition to the executive team comprising chair Richard Weurding and Harold Herbert. Feiter-van Heuvelen has ample experience in the insurance industry, having been responsible for private claims in the Netherlands and Belgium at Nationale Nederlanden. She has also been active in the distribution of insurance across intermediaries and banks. For the past two years, she has headed the advisory and executive centre for safe living (Centrum Veilig Wonen) in the area in Groningen affected by earthquakes as a consequence of gas mining.


Bouwinvest – The €12bn Dutch property investor Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors has named Gabriëlle Reijnen as a member of its supervisory board (RvC). She has more than 25 years of management experience, spanning client and portfolio management, finance and risk at a wide range of organisations, including large multinationals and start-ups, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Reijnen has been managing director at ABN Amro and Alvarez &Marsal, as well as head of corporate coverage and a member of the management board at the Dutch branch of Royal Bank of Scotland. She has also held RvC positions at Aegon Bank, Aspen Oss and Beter Bed Holding. With her appointment, the RvC – also comprising Jos Nijhuis, Jos van Lange and Wendy Verschoor – is now complete.


Dalriada Trustees – Independent professional trustee services firm Dalriada has appointed Charles Ward as a professional trustee. He joins from the pensions advisory team at PwC and will be based in Dalriada’s Birmingham office. He is a qualified actuary with almost 25 years of experience in advising companies and trustees on long-term pension scheme strategy and innovative funding, investment and benefit design projects. Prior roles with leading institutions including PwC, KMPG and Mercer have included work on a range of complex restructuring situations for distressed sponsors, implementation of member options exercises, Pension Protection Fund levy management advice and numerous corporate transactions, including clearance applications to The Pension Regulator.


Pensions for PurposeAlex Noble has joined the platform on a part-time basis to support co-founders Karen Shackleton and Stephanie Windsor. In the financial sector she has worked at institutions such as Gartmore, Bankers Trust and Lazard and Standard Chartered Equitor, and through her own company she provides advisory services to pension fund trustees, sponsors, fund managers and consultants. Other roles include chairing Future-Fit Ltd.

Pensions for Purpose said her appointment followed “exceptional growth in its business”. It said it now had 66 “Influencer” members (asset managers, law firms and consultants) posting content on the online platform about ESG, sustainable and impact investment, and 80 “Affiliate” members (asset owners and their advisers).


Insurance & Pension Denmark/Industriens PensionLaila Mortensen, the chief executive officer of labour market pension fund Industriens Pension, has been elected as the new chair of the supervisory board of sector association Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD, Forsikring & Pension). At the lobby group’s annual meeting in Copenhagen today, Anne Mette Toftegaard and Allan Polack – the ceo of LB Forsikring and PFA Pension, respectively – were also voted in as deputy chairs.

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