SPAIN- Santiago Fernandez Valbuena has stepped down as chief executive of Spain’s largest occupational pension fund Fonditel to take up a post as chief financial officer at Telefonica Group.

Valbuena has been replaced by chief operating officer Luis Pena Kaiser who joined Fonditel, the e3.8bn investment arm of Telefonica, four years ago to help transform it into a commercial asset management operation.

Valbuena remains chairman of Fonditel but will have little to do with the operational side. Cristobal Thomas de Carranza stays as Fonditel’s chief investment officer.

Valbuena is a well-respected in the investment world and known for his outspoken comments about the more exotic investment approaches, including alternatives.

Fonditel takes a conservative investment approach with more than 70% of its portfolio in fixed income, a strategy that has earned the fund solid returns and last year’s IPE award for best investment strategy in Spain