Aviva Investors, PFA, Sarasin, LOIM, Zurich, Ninety One, Casey Quirk, Reframe Capital, Industriens Pension

Aviva Investors  – Rakesh Girdharlal has been appointed to the newly-created role of head of liability-driven investment (LDI) and liquidity at Aviva Investors, starting April 2022. He will report to Caroline Hedges, head of credit.

Formally head of LDI at Aviva Investors, Girdharlal will be assuming additional responsibility for the firm’s liquidity business following Hedges’ promotion to head of credit in September 2021. He will retain his responsibilities for LDI portfolios, where he manages pension fund and insurance LDI mandates in excess of £20bn.

Girdharlal joined Aviva Investors as senior LDI portfolio manager in 2014, before assuming the role of head of LDI in 2018. Prior to this, he was asset and liability management (ALM) executive at Cardano where he was responsible for LDI portfolio management and ALM for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes.

PFA  – Sasja Beslik, who was appointed as head of sustainability at Danish pension provider PFA last autumn, is to leave the firm at the end of May for a new job in Japan. The ESG finance expert and high-profile commentator will become chief investment officer of a new group of investment funds managed by SDG Impact Japan, called NextGen ESG Strategy, and he will move to Japan for the work.

Beslik, who is changing jobs after less than a year, told IPE: “What’s driving me to take this big opportunity is that I’ve been pioneering ESG for more than 20 years, and Japan is a big market but does not have many ESG products – and the current ESG funds available are really not delivering results that clients are expecting.”

Beslik said he had a very good time at PFA, learning much about the pensions side of ESG, and had worked on the firm’s climate pledge as well as the launch of its climate-focused pension option, PFA Climate Plus (PFA Klima Plus).

A spokesman for PFA said the company had “an ambitious ESG approach and a strong team to continue leading the development of sustainable pension solutions for the Danish market.”

“We thank Sasja Beslik for his contribution to accelerate this work even further and wish him luck on his next adventure,” the spokesman said. He did not comment on whether PFA was trying to find a replacement for Beslik.

Pensionskasse Deutscher Eisenbahnen und Straßenbahnen – The occupational pension provider for the employees in the transport and utility sectors in Germany is looking to hire an investment management specialist. The specialist would hold a degree in economics or business informatics or commercial training, for example bank apprenticeship with appropriate further training, and would have professional experience in risk management and/or capital investment management, preferably in the fields of Pensionskassen, Versorgungswerke, insurance companies or banks.

The new hire will have the task of obtaining offers for direct investments, checking ratings, preparing documentations for decisions at board level, preparing reports, and evaluations and examination of the reports by external specialists and asset managers, taking part in projects with external specialists, for example for asset and liability modelling (ALM) studies, and taking over responsibilities to optimise the fund’s capital management programme and the new financial accounting programme.

The Pensionskasse has been pursuing a conservative investment strategy for decades. It invests mainly in direct investments, on top of equities and real estate. It plans to further develop and optimise its investment strategy with investments in new asset classes, for example infrastructure, to further diversify its portfolio.

Industriens Pension – Maria Barsøe Østergaard has been appointed as head of tax for the Danish pension fund for industrial-sector workers. She replaces Lars-Erik Nielsen, who, the firm said, is to take up another specialist position for a transitional period.

Industriens Pension said Barsøe Østergaard would be responsible for ensuring the pension fund met its tax and duty obligations, as well as helping enforce its “very clear distancing from aggressive tax planning, tax evasion and money laundering in relation to all partners and investments”.

She will also have the task of developing the tax policy for unlisted investments via external managers, which the pension fund launched in 2019 alongside three other pension funds, according to Industriens Pension.

Barsøe Østergaard joins Industriens Pension from her most recent role as tax manager at Danish cleaning equipment manufacturer Nilfisk, where she has worked since 2019. Prior to this, she was a tax consultant at both Deloitte and KPMG for a total of eight years.

Sarasin & Partners – The global investment manager has announced changes to its investment leadership. Guy Monson, who has enjoyed a long tenure as chief investment officer, will now become chief market strategist, with Jerry Thomas and Phil Collins promoted to CIOs for global equities and multi-asset, respectively.

This will see Monson remain the firm’s senior partner and a cornerstone member of the investment policy committee and the investment strategy group, while taking a greater focus on client interaction and the communication of Sarasin & Partners’ positioning and strategy. He will also continue to lead the firm’s target return franchise, focusing on asset allocation, managing risk exposures and volatility.

Thomas and Collins are longstanding partners in the firm’s asset management team, with Thomas previously holding the role of head of global equities, while Collins was head of multi-asset. In their CIO roles, they will oversee all portfolios in their respective franchises.

The pair are committed to developing Sarasin & Partners’ expanding investment team, which now includes Nikki Martin as co-manager of the Sarasin Global Dividend fund, who brings more than two decades’ investment experience to the team. Thomas and Collins will continue to report to executive committee member Subitha Subramaniam, in her role as head of asset management.

These changes follow another strong year for Sarasin & Partners, which saw a 22% increase in assets under management and administration in 2021.

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) – The asset manager has created the new role of chief carbon and environmental markets strategist, appointing Ruben Lubowski to the position.

LOIM described Lubowski as a leading economics and policy expert on carbon markets and a pioneer in finance approaches for conservation and other natural climate solutions. He has held senior leadership and advisory positions with environmental organisations and investors, including most recently as chief natural resource economist and associate vice-president for climate and forests at the Environmental Defense Fund in New York.

He also co-founded and serves as special adviser to the Emergent Forest Finance Accelerator, which manages and provides the platform for the LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative that mobilised $1bn to protect tropical forests last year. He has advised governments and stakeholders around the world on carbon markets design and has testified to the US Senate on the role of forest and agriculture offsets. He also serves as adjunct professor at Columbia University, specialising in carbon pricing and economic analysis of environmental policies.

In addition, Lubowski co-authored the World Bank-ICAP handbook on emissions trading systems design, widely used by policymakers and stakeholders worldwide. He is the author of over 70 journal publications, research papers and books and has won various environmental awards and grants.

At LOIM, Lubowski will leverage his experience to further develop LOIM’s range of products in the carbon and nature-based solutions space. LOIM plans to launch its first global carbon-focused strategy for private markets in the coming months.

Zurich – The Swiss insurer has named Marcus Bonn as chief risk officer in Germany, effective 1 October, and subject to approval by the Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin.

Bonn joins from insurer ERGO, where he currently serves as head of risk management for property insurance and international/risk reporting and strategy and is deputy chief risk officer.

At Zurich, Bonn succeeds Denny Tesch, who left the company on 31 March. He will be a member of the executive committee of Zurich Group Germany and will report to the chief executive officer Carsten Schildknecht, and to Katja Pluto, head of risk EMEA.

Ninety OneDaisy Streatfeild has been appointed as Ninety One’s sustainability director. She will be responsible for implementing the firm’s net zero commitments across its portfolios.

She will also work closely with investment teams in the development of sustainable products, as well as with clients to help inform them of the firm’s approach to sustainable investing and help them develop their approach.

Streatfeild joins Ninety One from the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), where she served as programme director. In this role, she helped to establish the Paris-Aligned Investment Initiative and spurred on more than 140 IIGCC members to commit to net zero portfolio emissions. Previously, she was an adviser – sustainable infrastructure, at the Inter-American Development Bank Group, following over 10 years in various climate and finance focused roles in the UK’s Civil Service.

Casey QuirkThorsten Heymann, formerly the head of global strategy at Allianz, has joined the asset management strategy consultant, a Deloitte business, as a senior adviser in Europe. He will advise Casey Quirk’s clients across the globe on mergers and acquisitions, European market entry, digital distribution and other strategic and operational matters.

Heymann has spent the majority of his career so far at Allianz. Most recently he was head of global strategy there until 2020.

Reframe Capital – The provider of alternative investment product and capital raising solutions has announced the launch of a new investment capability with the appointment of Ray Maxwell, through his consulting business, Priv-ity Limited, as advisory partner.

It said Maxwell’s extensive experience in private equity would serve to address the growing demand from asset owners to source and evaluate individual private equity and other private markets co-investment deals.

His investment career began at the Post Office Superannuation Fund, where he built and led the alternative investments division in the early 1980s. In 1997, he joined Invesco (through the acquisition of LGT Asset Management) and was responsible for their non-US private equity investments. In 2006, he left to establish Priv-ity Limited, which allowed him to provide investment advice to a broad range of clients. Since then, he has acted as special advisor to BTG (British Technology Group), was appointed chair of 2 Venture Capital Trusts and served as a sector specialist at Allenbridge.

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