ABN Amro, ADIA, AMF, AXA IM, DWS, Downing, EFAMA, FIN-FSA, IFoA, LifeSight, MFS, Natixis, UKSIF, WTW, Schroders
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) – Pascal Blanqué has been appointed as global head – quantitative research and development in the Authority’s strategy and planning department, effective 1 November 2022.
The quantitative research and development team applies a systematic, science-based approach to developing and implementing investment strategies, drawing on the latest developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and high performance computing. Blanqué will join and complement a senior, multi-disciplinary group of global heads of quantitative research and development who are responsible for overseeing and contributing to the team’s research, development and implementation of investment strategies.
Blanqué was previously group chief investment officer and deputy chief executive officer at Amundi Asset Management and member of its executive committee from February 2005. He was founding chair of the Amundi Institute, focusing on cross-disciplinary research, market strategy and asset allocation advisory. He was also global head of Amundi’s third party distributors business from 2010 to 2016, and its institutional business up to 2017. From 2000 to 2005, he was head of economic research and chief economist of Crédit Agricole.
Blanqué is an economist, financial historian and author, and is the recipient of various awards for his achievements in investment management and works on financial markets. He has been a lecturer and researcher at several leading French academic institutions, and is a member of prominent think tanks such as the French Société d’Economie Politique, The 300 Club, the MSCI Advisory Council and the Bretton Woods Committee.
AMF – Malin Omberg has been appointed as chief of staff at Sweden’s second biggest labour-market pension fund. She replaces Aino Bunge, who was appointed as deputy governor of the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, at the beginning of September.
Omberg joins AMF from her most recent role as head of schemes and regulation within group payments at Swedbank. She also previously held several senior positions at Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority.
Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) – Janne Häyrynen has been appointed as head of the legal unit at the Finnish financial watchdog. FIN-FSA said he would become part of its management group, reporting directly to its director general, Tero Kurenmaa.
Häyrynen joins from his current role at the Finnish Ministry of Finance, where he is head of the unit for capital markets in the financial markets department, and is also a senior adviser for legislative affairs. The FSA said Häyrynen had also served on its supervisory board since December 2018, adding that he would start work in the new role from 15 November.
LifeSight – WTW’s UK defined contribution (DC) master trust has announced the appointment of Nihal Ozdemir as head of member communications and engagement in the UK.
Ozdemir joins from Legal & General, where she was a senior communications and engagement consultant. Prior to that she was at Aviva where she was a financial education consultant.
In this position for LifeSight, Ozdemir will play an integral role in ensuring a smooth transition for new members joining the master trust as well as making sure that existing members have awareness and understanding of the features and enhancements available to help them manage their retirement savings through LifeSight.
She joined LifeSight on 17 October 2022 and reports to Stewart Patterson, head of product and commercial strategy.
Natixis Investment Managers/EFAMA – Patricia Horsfall, chief compliance officer for the firm’s international business, has been named as chair of the Management Companies Standing Committee at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA). Horsfall will undertake the role for two years with immediate effect.
Horsfall has more than 25 years of experience as a compliance and regulatory risk professional in the financial services and regulation industry. She has spent over 12 years of her career at Natixis IM, holding a number of senior compliance roles, currently serving as the firm’s executive vice president, chief compliance officer – international distribution, based in London.
In her role as chair of the Management Companies Standing Committee, she will be focused on ensuring the fair representation of EFAMA members’ views related to management companies’ activities and services, in particular risk management, as well as prudential requirements for asset managers, and financial stability issues relevant for the sector.
AXA Investment Managers – A project to create a new business unit called AXA IM Architas within AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is currently being discussed with the French works councils of AXA IM and Architas (AXA’s global multi-manager), in order to further strengthen asset management activities as growth engines for AXA Group.
This new business unit would combine the current Architas teams and AXA IM’s unit-linked team, with the objective to simplify the offering for AXA entities and provide them with a one-stop shop for unit-linked products and services.
Matthieu André, CEO of Architas, would lead the new business unit and join the AXA IM management board reporting to Marco Morelli, executive chair of AXA IM and AXA management committee member.
Schroders – The investment manager has named Alexander Prawitz as the new head of its German branch, effective 1 January 2023.
Prawitz succeeds Achim Küssner, who will retire at the end of the year after 15 years at Schroders. Prawitz currently leads the Central and Easter Europe (CEE) and Mediterranean division at Schroders from Frankfurt. He joined the firm in 2007, initially responsible for wholesale clients in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg as business development manager.
He moved to Hong Kong to cater for banking and insurance clients in the Asia Pacific region. Prawitz was also responsible for Schroders’ private bank distribution in Hong Kong.
Amundi – The asset management firm has announced three appointments within its Amundi Institute: Monica Defend, head of Amundi Institute, is appointed to Amundi’s executive committee; Mahmood Pradhan joins as head of global macroeconomics from 2 January 2023; and Anna Rosenberg joined as head of geopolitics on 14 October 2022. Pradhan and Rosenberg will both report to Defend.
With these new appointments, Amundi Institute reaffirms its ambition to strengthen advice, training and ongoing dialogue with all investors on economic, financial, geopolitical, societal and environmental issues; and widely communicate Amundi’s convictions and its investment and portfolio construction recommendations, thereby furthering its leadership in these areas.
Defend was appointed head of Amundi Institute in February 2022. She leads the creation of engaging and accessible proprietary research that delivers cross-asset thought leadership and investment strategy ideas to internal and external clients.
Pradhan joins from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he was deputy director, European department, heading the IMF’s work on the euro area, the euro area periphery, and financial sector issues in Europe since 2011.
Rosenberg joins from Signum Global Advisors, where she was co-founder and senior partner responsible for the firm’s predictive research output focused on Europe.
MFS – The firm is enhancing its fixed income department’s leadership team with the addition of two co-CIOs. Pilar Gomez-Bravo and Alexander Mackey will join current CIO Bill Adams to form a global leadership team of co-CIOs to lead the department, effective 1 March 2023.
“Pilar and Alex are experienced and highly regarded members of our global research platform and have demonstrated the leadership skills necessary to help lead the department to continued success globally,” said MFS CIO Ted Maloney. “Together with Bill, they will lead the continued execution of MFS’ multidecade strategic priority of growing its presence in fixed income markets around the world to the benefit of our clients,” he said.
With more than 25 years of investment experience overall, Gomez-Bravo joined MFS in 2013 and has been instrumental in establishing the firm’s London-based fixed income team. She is a portfolio manager on several fixed income strategies and serves on investment committees and working groups across asset classes.
Mackey began his career in 1998 with MFS and in 2001 joined the firm’s fixed income department, where he has worked as both an analyst and portfolio manager. During his tenure, he has helped guide the firm’s US high-grade corporate credit research process and portfolio management efforts.
Adams, Gomez-Bravo and Mackey will report to Maloney.
DWS Group – The firm has announced the appointment of Dirk Goergen as Americas CEO, effective 1 January 2023. He will follow Mark Cullen, who holds responsibility for the Americas region on the DWS executive board, and who will step down at the end of the year and leave the industry in spring 2023 after 30 years of exceptional service.
Goergen will assume this responsibility in addition to his current role as member of the firm’s executive board and global head of client coverage division. As CEO of the Americas, he will be responsible for identifying growth opportunities in the market and strengthening the positioning of the firm.
Goergen, who will relocate to the US and be based in New York, will also oversee the Americas leadership council that manages the running of the firm.
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) – Charles Cowling, an IFoA fellow, has been named as incoming president-elect of the International Actuarial Association (IAA). Cowling will take up the year-long presidency on 1 January 2024.
Cowling said: “I am honoured to be elected to the role of president-elect of the IAA. This is a very exciting time to be an actuary, with actuaries globally contributing hugely to work on finance, data analysis and complex risk modelling. Actuaries have recently shown the important value they can bring in the areas of climate change and pandemics and I hope to support the further growth and influence of the actuarial profession around the world.”
Paul Thornton was the last IFoA fellow to take on role of IAA President in 2010.
UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) – Two new appointments have been made to UKSIF’s board: Rishi Madlani, head of sustainable finance and just transition at NatWest Group, who has been re-elected to the board, and Maria Nazarova-Doyle, head of pension investments at Scottish Widows.
UKSIF’s board plays an important role in overseeing the strategic direction and long-term ambition of UKSIF. Board members serve in a personal capacity, and are elected by UKSIF’s members each year at its annual general meeting, which took place last week.
Cubera Private Equity – Reidun Tysseland has been appointed as a new managing partner at the €4.5bn Storebrand Asset Management unit. She joins the firm from her position as CEO at Norwegian investment bank Njord Securities.
Cubera said Tysseland had an extensive background in international capital markets from previously working for Norway’s DNB, first as head of debt capital markets in London, and subsequently as global head of corporate finance. The firm added that she started work in the new role last week.
ABN AMRO Investment Solutions – Angdy Ma has been hired as head of compliance and internal control. She joins in October 2022.
Reporting to Julien Garnier, ABN AMRO Investment Solutions’ chief risk officer leading both risk and compliance activities, Ma will be responsible for overseeing compliance with the legal, regulatory, and administrative requirements of ABN AMRO Investment Solutions and its funds. As head of a team of three, she will also be responsible for ensuring an adequate control plan and interaction with regulators.
Ma joins after more than 20 years with State Street Bank, where she began her career in 1998. She held various positions in depositary control compliance and risk management before becoming head of the compliance advisory department at State Street Bank in Paris.
Downing – Nick Burley, the former chief financial officer at European healthcare services business Alliance Medical, has joined the new capital solutions team at sustainable investment manager Downing.
Burley will join Downing’s capital solutions team and partner with former M&G fund manager Paul Taylor, who recently joined the firm. Downing’s newly-established team will launch a series of new investment activities and funds, managing capital on behalf of institutional investors.
With over 30 years of operational and transactional experience, Burley’s expertise will be crucial for both investors and portfolio businesses. NickHe will lead strategic transactions and work closely with investors to deliver the ambitious growth plans of the capital solutions team.
Burley’s career post-qualification has included senior operational and corporate finance roles in GE, Allied Domecq, McCormick and the Vita Group, prior to joining Alliance Medical.