AP7, KPA Pension, PLSA, Quantum Advisory, Redington, TNFD, Willis Towers Watson, Cardano, RisCura

AP7 – Susanne Ekblom has been appointed as the newest member of the supervisory board of AP7. The Swedish national pension fund, which provides the default option in the premium pension system, said the Ekblom - a consultant - had been appointed by the government, taking up the role on 8 October. She is to remain in the role until AP7 2020 accounts are complete, the fund said. Ekblom previously worked as chief executive officer of Vectura Real Estate for four years, having been CFO of Investor, a firm founded by the Wallenberg family, before that.

KPA Pension – Camilla Larsson has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of KPA Pension, the Swedish local government pensions subsidiary of pensions and insurance group Folksam. She succeeds Britta Burreau, whose coming departure next month from KPA Pension was announced earlier this year. Burreau is moving on to lead state-owned financing firm Almi Företagspartner. As well as heading up the main KPA Pension company unit, Larsson is also becoming CEO of the subsidiary KPA Pensionsförsäkring.

She joins KPA Pension from her current role as head of the customer and business department at Sweden’s second-largest pension fund AMF, where she has worked in various roles since 2004. Prior to this, she worked for the country’s largest pension fund Alecta, and also currently serves as chair of the supervisory board of AMF’s funds arm.

Since Larsson is not due to start work in her new role until April 2021, Johan Sjöström, CEO of the subsidiary KPA Livförsäkring, will become acting CEO of KPA Pension’s main company – alongside his permanent duties, KPA Pension said. Meanwhile, Ninni Wibeck will be acting CEO of KPA Pensionsförsäkring, while continuing her permanent role as CEO of the unit KPA Pensionsservice.

AMF said it was starting the hunt for Larsson’s replacement immediately.

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) – The PLSA board has appointed Carol Young and Dave Coplin as non-executive directors (NED). Both will be proposed for appointment for initial three years terms at the PLSA annual general meeting on 3 November 2020. Richard Butcher will also be proposed for reappointment as PLSA chair, extending his term for a further year until autumn 2021.

Both Young and Coplin have been selected based on their skills in developing strategy and commercial experience. Young joins as a member NED and will bring with her an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the UK pensions market, while Coplin is joining as an independent NED and offers experience and insight of digital technology; a vital component in a post-COVID world.

As the PLSA welcomes both Young and Coplin to its board, it is also saying goodbye to Patrick Heath-Lay (member NED) and John Dembitz (the first independent NED under the PLSA’s new governance arrangements).

Quantum Advisory – The consultancy announced the appointment of Paul Francis as principal investment consultant within the firm’s investment advisory practice. He will be based in London.

Amanda Burdge, partner at Quantum Advisory, said: “Following a period of concerted growth in our investment consulting and fiduciary manager selection services, we’re very pleased to welcome Paul to our team. His background as both an investment consultant and fiduciary manager means he brings a thorough understanding of the needs of pension funds and the experience to help them identify and implement investment solutions that best suit their specific goals.”

She said Francis will advise clients on investment governance, strategy and fund selection, as well as providing input into the continuing development of the firm’s own investment proposition.

In his 20 years of experience in the investment industry, Francis has advised a wide range of pension funds, including some of the largest UK schemes. He has held senior positions at Broadstone, Kempen, JLT and Willis Towers Watson, and helped pioneer the use of investment platforms by UK pension funds.

RedingtonMaggie Kearney has been hired as director in the firm’s defined contribution (DC) and financial wellbeing team. Kearney has been in the industry for almost 30 years and joins from Accenture, where she headed up the firm’s pension and benefits team in the UK. Prior to this she held various DC-focussed roles at organisations including Aon Hewitt and Hazell Carr (now known as First Actuarial). Kearney is a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

The news follows Jonathan Parker’s appointment as head of DC and financial wellbeing in July, after first joining the business in 2018. Parker’s team works closely with a range of DC clients helping them to design innovative default funds, embed sustainability objectives into fund design and investment manager selection, assess value for money, as well as maintain compliance in all areas of DC regulatory governance.

The team is particularly passionate about harnessing the power of technology to help improve scheme audit and governance, identify potential cost savings and ultimately deliver better retirement outcomes to members. In early 2020 it partnered with Ford Motor company to deliver the first worldwide pensions data analytics tool, which allows for side-by-side comparison of the value of pension provision across defined benefit and DC schemes, globally.

Kearney’s hire will further bolster Redington’s existing team of specialists, as it continues to drive its proposition in the DC, retirement and wider savings space and work with an increasingly global client base.

Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) – The following three co-chairs have been nominated to lead the Informal Working Group that is tasked with setting up and launching a work plan for a Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures:

  • Antoine Sire, director of company engagement and member of the group executive committee for BNP Paribas;
  • Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive officer of Green Finance Institute;
  • Mariuz Calvet Roquero, director of sustainability and responsible investment at Banorte.

The candidates are selected through nominations by the IWG members and recommendations from the four partner organisations that catalysed the idea of a TNFD: Global Canopy, UNDP, UNEPFI, WWF. Alongside in-depth knowledge of the subject matter of ”nature-positive finance”, selection criteria included: gender balance, representation from different geographies, and experience in public and private finance.

As co-chairs Sire, Thomas and Roquero will lead the monthly working group meetings until the formation of the TNFD in the first half of 2021, ensure delivery of milestones and timely decisions as set out in the work plan.

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) – Tony Rooke has been appointed as director of climate transition risk in the organisation’s Climate and Resilience Hub (CRH).

Prior to joining WTW, Rooke was global director for disclosure at CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), responsible for delivering and maintaining the environmental disclosure platform, which is used by thousands of companies and cities worldwide. He has also set up and led environmental and sustainability consulting practices at Infosys and Logica across EMEA and APAC, delivering strategies, advisory and climate transition projects spanning private and public sector.

In his new role, Rooke will guide the advice and analysis WTW provides clients to help them navigate and thrive in the transition to a low carbon economy and contribute to the innovation of new services and products across our investment, risk and human capital businesses.

Cardano Group – The pensions risk and investment management specialist has appointed Emma Hill as group brand and marketing director. a newly created role. She will join Cardano in mid-November and will focus on the firm’s overarching brand proposition and setting the vision and strategy for the group’s marketing plans.

She will work closely with the team leaders in each of the group’s operating units: Beth Nightingale at Cardano UK, Govinder Heer at Lincoln Pensions, Eleanor Levy at Now: Pensions and Vita De Geus in Cardano NL.

Hill, who has more than 20 years of experience in brand and marketing roles, joins from Legal & General where she is currently group brand director. She has previously held positions at Royal London, RSA, Honda and ITV.

RisCura – The global investment advisory and financial analytics firm has appointed Robert Ross as senior advisor. He will be responsible for promoting the firm’s China capability and identifying potential clients.

Faisal Rafi, head of investment research at RisCura, said: “Sophisticated investors have recognised, for some time, the benefits of diversifying their portfolios to include investments in emerging markets, and the huge opportunities they can provide. China, specifically, is the single largest market in the Emerging Market Index and one which is consistently demonstrating huge innovation.

“We understand the challenges that schemes face with de-risking strategies but what they also recognise is the importance of being fully empowered with current knowledge and thinking. Robert is a highly respected and sought-after investment professional who will help us to continue to deliver this knowledge to the market and expand our reach even further into the top tier of private and public pension schemes.”

Ross is a former director at Russell Investments and an actuary and investment consultant. He has had continuous focus and prominence in the UK pensions market for more than 30 years, working across Europe, US, Middle East, and Africa for a range of institutional investors.

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