Folksam, Credit Suisse, Willis Towers Watson, Ircantec, RLAM, Franklin Templeton, FIN-FSA, Brunel PP, ComPlan, PTL, SBB PK, bfinance, ESMA

Folksam – Mia Liblik  is stepping down from her role as chief executive officer of Folksam LO Pension, a subsidiary of Swedish pensions and insurance group Folksam. The SEK138bn (€13.6bn) subsidiary said its supervisory board had appointed Christoffer Jönsson to replace her as its CEO.

Folksam said Liblik was leaving the role to work on its life insurance arm’s occupational pension business, as new regulations come in.

Jönsson joins the firm from his current role as CEO of Bantorget Förvaltning, an investment company wholly owned by the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) – a role he has held since 2017. Folksam said Jönsson started his new job leading Folksam LO Pension on 11 March.

Credit Suisse Group – Ulrich Körner has been named as the new chief executive officer of the group’s asset management division and member of the executive board, effective 1 April.

Körner will report directly to Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein. Eric Varvel, currently serving as global head asset management, will support Körner in the months ahead in the transition to the new role. Philipp Wehle will continue to lead the International Wealth Management division as a member of the executive board.

The Swiss bank has also decided to reshape its asset management business, which will operate separately from the International Wealth Management division. Credit Suisse has taken this step following its involvement in supply chain funds with links to now-insolvent Greensill Capital.

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) – The firm has named Tobias Bockholt as head of investment consulting in Germany, effective 1 April. Bockholt succeeds Nigel Cresswell, who has been named CEO of Quoniam Asset Management.

In his current role as senior investment consultant at WTW, Bockholt oversees regulated investors such as Pensionskassen and pension schemes for self-employed, or Versorgungswerke. He will drive the firm’s further expansion of its investment consulting business in Germany with a special focus on alternative asset classes.

Bockholt has more than 20 years of experience in investment banking and asset management. Prior to joining WTW in 2015, he served as head of institutional clients at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Germany.

Ircantec – The French public pension scheme has a new chair and vice chair of the board of trustees. Christophe Iacobbi, the mayor of Allons, was elected chair as employers representative and Philippe Sebag, a trustee for the past four years, was elected vice chair as beneficiaries representative.

Both paid tribute to outgoing board chair Jean-Pierre Costes, in particular for his commitment and efforts with regard to socially responsible investment. Ircantec is a pay-as-you-go scheme but has €12.6bn in reserves.

Franklin Templeton – Julie Moret, global head of ESG, has left the firm. The asset manager announced the departure in a statement about the formation of a stewardship and sustainability council. It will be co-chaired by David Sheasby, head of Stewardship and ESG for Martin Currie, and David Zahn, head of European fixed income and head of sustainable fixed income for Franklin Templeton Fixed Income.

The firm is recruiting for a new global head of ESG.

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) – Subject to regulatory approval, Hans Georgeson will take over from Andrew Carter as CEO of RLAM. Carter retires at the end of June 2021 after more than 20 years at RLAM.

Georgeson joins RLAM from AXA Group, where he spent 10 years as CEO of Architas Asset Management, overseeing its growth from a start-up UK business to a 300-person investment company responsible for over £40bn of assets across 12 countries in Europe and Asia.

Before that he held a number of senior executive roles at Barclays Wealth and he was also previously an executive director at Gerrard Investment Management. He initially trained as an equity analyst at BZW Investment Management and Merrill Lynch.

FIN-FSA – Niina Bergring, the former deputy head and CIO of Finnish pension insurance company Veritas, has been appointed by the country’s financial watchdog as head of the its non-life and life insurance division.

The Finnish FSA (FIN-FSA, Finanssivalvonta) said she was joining the authority from her current job of executive vice president, asset management at Aktia Bank, and would take up her role at the supervisor on 16 June.

Before working at Aktia Bank, Bergring was deputy CEO and CIO at Veritas from 2013 to 2020. FIN-FSA said that alongside her appointment, it was reorganising oversight of investment activities in the insurance supervision department. In the future, the supervisor said, support for oversight of investment activities would be handled centrally at departmental level, under Bergring’s leadership.

Brunel Pension PartnershipLiz Mckenzie has joined the asset pool as its new shareholder non-executive director, and chair of its remuneration committee.

Brunel said that as the shareholder representative on the board, Mckenzie’s role was crucial.

“It is an important moment, as we complete our transitions and the launch of our funds, and as our reputation for investment expertise and responsible investment leadership continues to grow across the industry in the year of COP26,” it said.

In addition to her role at Brunel, Mckenzie is non-executive director and remuneration committee chair at the Monmouthshire Building Society, and vice chair at the West Midlands Growth Company. She began her career as a production engineer before spending 19 years at Toyota, and then transferring to financial services.

ComPlan – The Pensionskasse for the Swiss telecommunication company Swisscom has appointed Daniela Thalmann as its new managing director, effective 1 September at the latest.

Thalmann currently serves as deputy director of the Pensionskasse for the employees of the Canton of Bern, Bernische Pensionskasse (BPK). Prior to joining BPK, she worked for 18 years in several positions at Publica.

At ComPlan Thalmann succeeds Urs Schaffner, who will leave the fund on 31 March after five years in office. Tiziana Valente and Roman Denkinger will take over the managing position in the interim until Thalmann starts.

PTL – The independent trustee and governance services provider has appointed investment specialist Payam Kazemian as a client director.

Kazemian brings more than 12 years of frontline pension investment experience, particularly in the design and implementation of liability-driven investment (LDI) solutions. He has spent considerable time working with trustees, sponsoring employers, and their advisers: first to understand their funding challenges, and then designing bespoke solutions on both the liability and asset side.

SBB PK – The board of trustees for the Pensionskasse of the Swiss federal railways has elected a president and vice president, in addition to members of the investment committee, the regulatory committee, audit and risk committees, and the personnel committee.

The new chair of the board of trustees is employees representative Aroldo Cambi, who has been a member of the board of trustees for eight years. Markus Jordi, employers representative, is the new vice president. The president of the investment committee is Nicolas Zürcher, head of corporate finance at SBB. The president of the regulatory committee is Sibylle Hug, head of HR consulting and policy at SBB. Jordi has also taken up the position of president of the auditing, risk and personnel committees.

bfinance – Duncan Higgs is joining bfinance as managing director and head of portfolio solutions, overseeing the development and delivery of a range of services for institutional investor clients around the globe.

This appointment follows a period of rapid growth for the firm’s fastest-growing business area. Between 2018 and 2020 the volume of engagements handled by the portfolio solutions division increased fourfold while its revenues rose sixfold, due to strong demand for services including strategic portfolio design, risk solutions, monitoring, fee reviews and more.

Higgs was previously a director at Willis Towers Watson, where alongside his main responsibilities he was part of the core team driving technology change in the investment business. He has more than 15 years of experience in investment consulting, including both advisory and fiduciary services. He also spent five years as a client manager at Cardano delivering tailored investment solutions to institutional clients.

ESMA – Natasha Cazenave, currently at French financial markets regulator AMF, has been chosen to be the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) candidate to succeed Verena Ross as executive director.

Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the European Parliament. Cazenove is currently deputy secretary general, head of policy and international affairs at the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). Ross has now served the maximum term allowed under the ESMA regulation and steps down on 29 May 2021. 

AMF said it congratulated Cazenave on being selected and that this was ”a tribute to her skills and talent, and honours the institution”.

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