NEST Corporation, the trustee body that runs the UK’s workplace pension fund NEST, has appointed Jaap van Dam, the director for investment strategy at €238bn Dutch pension investor PGGM, to join its investment committee.
Van Dam will be responsible for further developing NEST’s investment practice in order to continuously improve it, the fund said.
He has broad knowledge and experience on strategy, investment policy formulation, asset allocation and value chain design.
He is chair of the VBDO, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development, chair of European Chapter of the 300 Club, and member of the research committee for the International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM).
Van Dam said: “The rapid growth of NEST over the coming decades will require important decisions around investment management. I am a great admirer of the intellectual rigor NEST applies to its practice – from the behavioural choice design to the investment solutions it implements.”
The appointment comes as the fund reaches £10bn (€11.9bn) in assets under management invested on behalf of its more than 8.6 million members, it announced.
Mark Fawcett, NEST’s chief investment officer, said that reaching such a milestone “shows NEST is set to become one of the largest players in the UK pensions market and the scheme is now receiving £400m new contributions every month.”
Additionally, following a competitive recruitment last year, Jennie Austin also joined NEST’s investment committee last November.
She has spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, and ran funds both actively and passively as an equities manager with the BT and Post Office pension schemes.
Most recently at FTSE Russell, Austin worked for 10 years with some of the UK and Europe’s largest pension and sovereign wealth fund investment teams.
“There are a range of investment approaches, such as climate funds and factor investing, where I can offer my expertise and help shape the right approach to deliver the best member outcomes,” she said.
Chris Hitchen, chair of the NEST’s investment committee, said this was the first time the fund had made appointments to its investment committee from outside of its trustee board.
He added that both van Dam and Austin’s “deep experience and international perspectives will really help NEST as it grows into a large-scale investing institution.”