APG, MaPS, AllianceBernstein, TransitionZero, Europa Capital, Nuveen, Matthews Asia
APG Asset Management Asia – Thijs Aaten has been named as the firm’s new chief executive officer based in Hong Kong, effective 1 September. He succeeds Wim Hazeleger who is stepping down after 10 years in the role. Hazeleger will be leaving APG to pursue new opportunities.
Aaten has more than 27 years of experience with wide ranging financial services expertise. He joined APG in 2001 and has served in numerous managerial roles in the Netherlands and Hong Kong, most recently as chief finance and risk officer (CFRO) of APG Asset Management Asia. In this role, Aaten was responsible for risk management, compliance and finance for the last four years.
Prior to this, he established the APG Treasury Center, a licensed investment firm that acted as the central dealing desk and counter party for APG’s clients and funds. Aaten is also a board member of the international Swaps and Derivates Association (ISDA).
Michael van Ommeren will succeed Aaten as APG’s new CFRO for Asia. His last role was chief operating officer at Indosuez Wealth Management where he had an additional responsibility for the finance and treasury function. Previously he worked amongst others as COO for the Hong Kong branch of Dutch ABN Amro Bank and Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore where he gained experience in operational risk management.
Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) – The UK organisation, which is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, has announced the appointments to its board of four new non-executive directors.
Marlene Shiels, Monica Kalia, Sara Weller and Simon Hamilton will join the MaPS board from 1 September 2022. Non-executive members of MaPS board are responsible for providing appropriate oversight, governance and direction to MaPS in pursuit of its statutory objectives.
One of MaPS’s commitments is to ensure that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime.
The new appointments join the MaPS board which includes chair Hector Sants, Ann Harris and Alex Heath.
Shiels has more than 30 years of experience in the credit sector, promoting, growing and developing credit unions throughout the UK and beyond. She is currently the CEO at Capital Credit Union and holds a membership role at the HMT Financial Inclusion Policy Forum.
Kalia has been recognised by Forbes as one of the top female leaders in Fintech and listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech by the Financial Times & Inclusive Boards. She has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector at the Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and is versed in improving financial capability in areas such as affordable credit, savings and debt advice in non-executive roles at Step Change.
Weller brings with her an extensive background in non-executive roles across the public and private sectors, including a current role at BT Group. She has wide-ranging experience in customer focused operations, including the support and provision of the most vulnerable, as well as experience of structural and cultural transformation.
Hamilton has had an executive career of more than 30 years in financial services, split between management consulting and strategic leadership roles in three mutuals, including eight years at Nationwide Building Society. He has been responsible for leading diverse transformation initiatives including new business building with fintechs, digital transformation, M&A, turnaround, outsourcing and critical regulatory programmes.
AllianceBernstein (AB) – The asset manager has appointed Mark Williams as managing director in the UK institutional client group to bolster AB’s expansion efforts in a key strategic growth market. Williams returns to London after 11 years with AB in Australia, where he was responsible for consultant relations and business development across the Asia Pacific region.
In his new role, Williams will primarily maintain and develop AB’s relationships with UK-based pension plans. He will support a growing client base amid increasing interest in the firm’s diverse set of investment solutions spanning equities, fixed income, liquid alternatives, private credit and multi-asset strategies.
Williams will be based in London, reporting to Nitish Sharma, head of UK institutional client group. Williams has more than 20 years of experience in the asset management industry, including 18 years at AB. He previously worked at Schroders.
TransitionZero – The climate analytics not-for-profit firm has announced that Sriya Sundaresan will step down from her role as co-CEO. Sundaresan, who co-founded TransitionZero in 2020 with Matt Gray, will leave the organisation after two years to focus on new climate projects.
Sundaresan and Gray have been joint CEOs since the organisation’s inception, having co-founded TransitionZero in 2020 after jointly running the power and utilities team at Carbon Tracker. Following Sundaresan’s departure, Gray will take on the role of sole CEO with support from the TransitionZero team and the board.
Europa Capital – The pan-European real estate investment manager has bolstered its sustainability and development team with the appointment of Chris Miller-Jones to the newly-created role of ESG director.
This appointment further strengthens the business’ sustainability capabilities in line with its strategy of becoming carbon neutral across its operational direct real estate portfolio and corporate emissions by 2030, and its non-direct emissions by 2040.
Based in London, Miller-Jones will be responsible for managing Europa Capital’s sustainability goals and objectives, with oversight of the risks and impacts of sustainability initiatives on portfolio and asset performance, as well as across all funds and business lines. Reporting to the head of sustainability and development, Lynn Smith, Miller-Jones will collaborate internally and externally to help implement and embed the vision, approach and delivery of Europa Capital’s sustainability strategy.
With nearly 25 years of experience in the sustainability sector, Miller-Jones joins from BWB Consulting where he spent the past two years supporting the development of the company’s ESG strategy and its commitment to net zero.
Nuveen – The global investment manager has opened a new office in Zurich and appointed Christian Leger as managing director and head of Switzerland. He will lead Nuveen’s expansion across the country, in alignment with its objectives to both support, and grow its existing institutional client base and grow its offering for private wealth clients.
Leger joins Nuveen from Allianz Global Investors where he was country head for Switzerland and head of European banks.
Romina Smith, head of Central Europe, global client group, said: “Christian brings a wealth of experience, having covered Swiss clients throughout the entirety of his career. We believe that with our diverse investment offering and extensive experience investing across both public and private market solutions, Nuveen is uniquely suited to address Swiss clients’ current and future needs. Christian’s knowledge of the local market and industry expertise will be invaluable as we look to build and strengthen our client base.”
Matthews Asia – Cooper Abbott has been appointed CEO of the Asia specialist asset management firm, succeeding William Hackett who has retired as CEO and a member of the board of directors this summer.
Abbott brings to Matthews Asia more than two decades of senior investment management experience that has focused on delivering creative solutions and investment outcomes that meet client needs. Working in a number of leadership roles, he has established growth platforms for a diverse range of investment management businesses and client-types. His experience includes public and private markets, organic and acquisition-led growth, institutional and wealth channels, all with a focus on building scale and global reach.
Most recently, Abbott served as president and chair at Carillon Tower Advisors where he founded and built a global multi-boutique asset management company providing equity, fixed income and multi-asset class solutions to a range of institutional and retail investors.