Universal Investment, EdenTree, Eastspring Investments, Guinness Global Investors, Redington, Gresham House, ThomasLloyd, AllianceBernstein, LifeSight, IGG, BVK, Aon, Mercer, Finanstilsynet, AMF

Guy’s & St Thomas’ FoundationEmma Davies has been appointed as chief investment officer to manage the £1bn charitable endowment for health impact. Davies’ extensive private and third sector experience will drive Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation mission to create a healthier society for all, alongside generating attractive financial returns, it was announced.

Emma Davies at Guy's & St Thomas

Emma Davies at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation

As CIO, Davies will be responsible for implementing the investment strategy for the foundation’s £1bn endowment which is made up of a diversified portfolio of investments, land and other properties. The foundation’s overarching endowment strategy aims to make investments that deliver long term and sustainable financial returns as well as positive health outcomes.

Davies will lead a team of specialists across the endowment portfolio, supporting their work to embed the foundation’s mission to build a healthier society into investment policy.

The foundation’s commitment to use its assets to generate positive health impact includes the £100m allocation to impact investments announced last year, one of the largest ever allocations made by any UK based charitable foundation.

Davies brings a wealth of cross-sector experience to the foundation from previous roles at JP Morgan, Perry Capital, The Wellcome Trust, Marylebone Partners and as the founding CIO at Big Society Capital. Most recently she co-led the team at Octopus Ventures.

Redington – The consultancy has announced the appointment of Kieran Harkin as managing director in its investment consulting team.

Harkin brings more than 20 years of experience supporting both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes on a full spectrum of services ranging from core investment strategy and sustainable investment, to risk management, manager selection and tactical asset allocation.

He joins the team on 2 May from Mercer where he was head of LGPS investment, advising funds directly as well as overseeing the broader market proposition. Prior to this, he held a range of senior positions at firms including JLT, KPMG and PWC.

At Redington, Harkin will play a key role in the ongoing development of the firm’s investment consulting capabilities, as well offering support and insight as the team looks to further invest in its proposition for LGPS clients.

LifeSight – WTW’s defined contribution master trust has appointed Simon Katte to lead some of its largest client relationships in the UK. Joining from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), Katte will report to head of LifeSight UK Jelena Croad and will be responsible for managing existing client relationships as well as taking on new clients as LifeSight continues to grow.

Before joining LifeSight, Katte was a senior client director at LGIM and has also held management and client relationship manager roles at Wealth at Work and the Financial Conduct Authority.

ThomasLloyd – The independent impact investment solutions firm has recruited Nadir Maruf as CIO with immediate effect. He joins ThomasLloyd’s executive management team, reporting to Michael Sieg, the group’s chief executive officer, and is responsible for developing and executing the group’s investment strategy. Maruf will help drive the firm’s continued expansion as an impact investor in sustainable energy infrastructure projects across Asia, drawing on more than 25 years’ experience in alternative investments.

Prior to joining ThomasLloyd, Maruf held the role of head of private markets at Tesco Pension Investment, where he was responsible for the private markets business and underlying portfolios, including overseeing all direct and indirect unlisted strategies. During his tenure there, he was closely involved in the strategy and implementation of a net zero pathway for private assets and obligations under the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Stewardship Code.

Bayerischen Versorgungskammer (BVK) – Germany´s largest pension fund has named Oliver Hardt as head of the department for sustainability in capital investments.

In his role, Hardt is responsible for sustainability strategy and corporate sustainability. He is an expert in ESG, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), joining BVK from Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB), where he worked as a senior manager ESG/sustainability for disclosure and reporting. Prior to that, he was a senior consultant for sustainability and data at consulting firm Verso.

FinanstilsynetPer Mathis Kongsrud has been appointed by Norway’s Council of State as director general of the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) for a six-year term.

He will succeed Morten Baltzersen, who will end his second term in the role on 15 August. Kongsrud currently works at the FSA as department director for digitisation and analysis – a role he has held since September 2018. Before that, he was at the Norwegian Finance Ministry, working as department director in the section for public finances and macroeconomic analysis.

Gresham House – The specialist alternative asset manager has bolstered its growing New Energy division with the hiring of Lefteris Strakosias as investment director. Reporting to Ben Guest, managing director and head of New Energy, Strakosias will be responsible for sourcing and executing energy storage investment opportunities, particularly for Gresham House Energy Storage Fund (GRID), Gresham House’s flagship energy storage strategy.

Lefteris Strakosias at Gresham House

Lefteris Strakosias at Gresham House

Strakosias brings more than 15 years of experience in infrastructure and renewable energy investments, having held principal investment and advisory roles with reputable institutions including Maple Power, National Pension Service, Macquarie Group and Société Générale.

Strakosias’ renewable energy specialism ranges across sectors including solar energy, onshore and offshore wind, anaerobic digestion, and hydroelectric power.

The appointment continues a period of significant growth for Gresham House’s New Energy offering, which has £1.3bn in assets under management as of 31 December 2022. The addition of Strakosias to the team will strengthen the New Energy division’s capabilities and reflects Gresham House’s longstanding commitment to driving greater investment in sustainable energy infrastructure as part of the wider transition to net zero emissions.

AllianceBernstein (AB) – The asset manager has announced two appointments: Bernd Vogel as director for Germany and Austria institutions, and Oliver Kroll as director of insurance. They will both be based in Frankfurt, reporting into Willem van Gijzen, director of CEMEA institutions.

Vogel will oversee AB’s strategic relationships with German and Austrian based institutional investors, working with clients in the region on investment strategy, knowledge sharing and product discussions. He joins with more than 20 years of experience in various asset management roles. He brings buyside and sales experience having worked with insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional clients and consultants. Vogel joins from BMO/Columbia Threadneedle where he has been for over five years. He has previously worked at AXA Investment Managers and AXA Germany, Jupiter and Amundi.

Kroll will be responsible for building AB’s insurance strategy and marketing in Germany. He will also manage relationships with insurance clients and prospects. He has more than 20 years of experience in varied roles including, managing global fixed income portfolios, focused on reinsurance and primary insurance largely with Generali Germany and Hannover Re. There he led Hannover Re’s global fixed income portfolio management. More recently, he co-founded the fintech company Scorable, an AI-based platform predicting companies’ down- and upgrade probability.

AMFHelena Nordberg was elected as a new member of the Swedish blue-collar occupational pension provider’s board at its annual general meeting on 13 April. At the same time Ulf Grunander left the board. Lars Wedenborn was re-elected as chair.

Eastspring Investments – The asset management business of Prudential plc has announced the appointment of Bill Maldonado as interim chief executive officer. This follows Wai-Kwong Seck’s decision to retire after four years as CEO with the firm.

To ensure a smooth transition, Seck will remain with Eastspring until the end of June to support Maldonado and the executive team.

Maldonado joined Eastspring in August 2021 and is currently the firm’s CIO, a role he will retain in order to focus on investment performance. He is well positioned to take on the interim CEO role having worked closely with Seck and the executive team to deliver on the firm’s corporate growth strategy. Maldonado chairs the Eastspring executive management committee and reports to Anil Wadhwani, CEO of Prudential plc.

Maldonado has nearly 30 years of asset management experience and a strong track record in leading teams globally. Prior to joining Eastspring, he served as the Asia Pacific CIO and global CIO, equities, at HSBC Global Asset Management.

EdenTree Investment Management – The specialist responsible and sustainable asset manager has appointed Leonora Rae as head of corporate responsibility and charity partnerships to align the business’s activity with EdenTree’s ethos as a responsible and sustainable investment manager.

To mark six years of its employee-led corporate responsibility committee and the launch of the Community Investment Fund, EdenTree recently refreshed and formalised its corporate responsibility strategy into three focus areas: people, community and environment.

Rae, who joined EdenTree’s charity team in 2019, will work closely with EdenTree’s corporate responsibility committee to continue driving positive social and environmental change.

Prior to joining EdenTree, Rae worked in the business development team at Cambridge Associates, partnering with endowments and foundations, and has been involved with charities for some years as trustee at three UK charities.

Etienne Rougier at Universal Investment

Etienne Rougier at Universal Investment Group

Universal Investment GroupEtienne Rougier has been named the new chief operating officer of Universal Investment Group. He will be responsible for driving and transforming the business to support its overall growth strategy. This includes enhancing customer delivery, which involves the onboarding experience for customers, seamless account maintenance and superior fund accounting.

Through his leadership role, Rougier will further strengthen the development of Universal Investment’s growing subsidiaries in Luxembourg.

In his new role Rougier will be responsible for technology, operations and change management. His appointment will see the C-suite expand, which already consists of chief executive officer Michael Reinhard, chief customer officer Katja Müller and chief regulatory officer Frank Eggloff.

Rougier started his career at AXA Investment Managers where he led several business reorganisation projects, most notably the outsourcing of AXA IM operations in Europe. In 2005, he was named global head of change management. He then moved to London to set up the multi-manager boutique Architas, a new asset management firm for AXA Group, where he was COO for five years and responsible for process implementation and business development.

In 2013, he joined AllianceBernstein where he spent almost 10 years in various management roles. As head of EMEA and Asia insurance, he was responsible for client services, business development and implementing bespoke services for insurers in these markets.

Mercer Maria Leitzbach is the new principal, pension consulting lead, at Mercer Wealth & Investments in Germany, joining from Nuveen. In her role, Leitzbach advises institutional investors on strategic and tactical asset allocation, regulations, asset/liability management and risk management. She also advises on asset allocation for the Mercer Pension Fund and on portfolio management.

Independent Governance Group (IGG) – The UK’s provider of professional pensions trusteeship and governance services has made two senior hires as it continues to expand its offering.

Katherine Ball and Vanessa Roberts have joined the firm as associate directors, bringing nearly 50 years of combined experience across trusteeship, corporate sole trusteeship and scheme secretarial roles. Both are set to take up key roles in the ongoing development of the business.

Ball is a fully accredited professional trustee, and joins IGG as a recognised expert in scheme governance. In over 25 years in the pensions industry, she’s undertaken a variety of roles including those of scheme secretary, sole trustee and trustee board chair, as well as significant experience as a scheme actuary. She has extensive experience managing complex projects in areas as diverse as buy-in transactions, GMP rectification and adviser selection.

Recently, Ball has contributed to assisting trustee boards in preparation for The Pension Regulator’s Single Code of Practice, undertaken gap analysis and providing recommendations for next steps.

Roberts has worked broadly across the pensions industry, including both DB and DC schemes, as well as roles with public sector schemes and local government. She led the in-house governance and secretariat for Nationwide’s pension fund, a scheme with approximately £7.5bn in assets and has experience as a trustee director on Sole Trustee DB Schemes.

Her governance experience includes developing initiatives to reduce operational risk, as well as significant expertise in establishing protocols to provide efficient and effective scheme solutions. She is a member of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s DC committee, as well as a fully accredited professional trustee.

The hires are the latest part of the group’s growth in 2023. In February, Ross Trustees and Independent Trustee Services merged to create IGG. A month later IGG acquired Clarity Trustees, with Clarity founder Karein Davie joining IGG, bringing more than 20 years of experience built with firms such as PwC, Hymans Robertson and Mercer.

Aon – The consultancy has appointed Christoph Püntmann as the new head of investment consulting in Germany. Püntmann succeeds Wolfram Roddewig, who is leaving the company at his own request this summer.

Püntmann is an expert in asset/liability management (ALM), and has held positions at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, among others. He most recently advised institutional clients and banks on capital investments and ALM in his own company Hibrook Financial Advisors.

Aon has also appointed Tobias Sticht as chief commercial officer for the German and Austrian markets. He will run sales of the firm’s primary insurance broker business in Germany and Austria.

Guinness Global InvestorsDennis Mehrtens ahas been appointed as head of sales in Germany. Based in Frankfurt, he will work alongside Deborah Kay, global head of distribution, to grow Guinness’ client base throughout Germany, and promoting the firm’s diverse fund range to new and existing investors.

Mehrtens was most recently managing director for the DACH region at Fiera Capital (previously Charlemagne Capital). He brings with him over 10 years of experience in the industry to his new role. He was sales manager at LOYS AG before joining Charlemagne Capital.

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