Pacific Asset Management, LGPS Central, Aon, ZEDRA, IFM Investors, Fidelity International, DWS, LD Pensions, FTN, Schroders, VGV, aba

LGPS Central – The investment management company responsible for the pooled assets of eight UK local government pension scheme funds has appointed Sheila Stefani as head of stewardship within its responsible investment team. She will be joined by Sameed Afzal who joined LGPS Central recently as a senior stewardship analyst from St James Place.

With a career spanning ESG research and active stewardship, Stefani joins LGPS Central from TPT Retirement Solutions, where she led on engagement strategies in areas such as net zero, just transition, diversity, human rights, modern slavery, and corporate governance, advising trustees on responsible investment policies and ESG regulatory updates relevant to the pension industry.

Her previous roles include time spent with ICGN Global Stewardship Committee, Church Commissioners of England Pensions Board, and Minerva Analytics.

The new appointment reinforces LGPS Central’s commitment to responsible investment and engagement, ensuring it is well-positioned to continue delivering strong long-term results for its clients while meeting its fiduciary duty to invest responsibly.

IFM Investors – The pension fund-owned global funds manager continues to build its team in the UK and EMEA, with another key appointment to be based in London. Amanda Latham has staretd in a new position – director, sustainable investment.

Latham has extensive policy and strategy experience. She joins IFM Investors from Barnett Waddingham where she was an associate and policy and strategy lead on key industry issues with a focus on sustainability. As a member of the sustainable investment team and sustainability steering group, Latham worked across the firm to embed sustainable investment principles.

Prior to Barnett Waddingham, Latham was policy lead for The Pensions Regulator for almost a decade.

Latham will be part of the clients and strategy team led by chief strategy officer Luba Nikulina, who started at IFM in September 2022. Nikulina’s focus is on building out the business globally with an emphasis on strategy, sustainability, public affairs and marketing. She oversees a growing global team across the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia.

Latham’s appointment follows the announcement last week that John Gee-Grant had been appointed as IFM Investors’ new head of global client solutions.

LD Pensions (LD Fonde)Morten Skov Christiansen has been appointed as chair of the board of the Danish pension fund manager. The composition of LD Pension’s board is determined in the Act on the Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (legacy cost of living allowances fund) – one of the two pension funds the firm manages. LD Pensions’ board consists of appointees recommended by labour-market organisations and the government.

Skov Christiansen has been acting chair of the Danish Trade Union Confederation (Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation, FH) since the previous chair Lizette Risgaard resigned from the FH role at the end of April in the midst of a scandal about inappropriate behaviour on her part towards staff members at the organisation.

LD Pensions said FH had opted to replace Risgaard with Skov Christiansen as LD Pensions chair.

As well as this board change, LD Pensions said Ingerlise Buck had been appointed as a new member of its board. Buck, an economic consultant at FH, replaces Bente Sorgenfrey, the former deputy chair of the trade union movement.

DWSClaire Peel, DWS’s chief financial officer, has informed the firm about her intention to resign as member of the DWS executive board towards the end of Q3 2023. The shareholder of DWS Management GmbH will initiate a thorough search process to appoint a new CFO for DWS within the next weeks.

The search process will include both internal and external candidates. Peel, who has been CFO since 2018, will continue in her role until her departure date and will ensure an orderly hand-over.

Karl von Rohr, chair of the supervisory board of DWS, said: “We will lose an excellent CFO who is highly appreciated in the capital market.” He added that Peel “has been instrumental in supporting the company in a challenging phase since the IPO and helping to further develop our capital markets’ reputation”.

AllianzGI – The asset manager has created a new dedicated global sustainability/SRI equity team as part of its competitive offering in equities. While the firm already offers a number of Article 8 as well as Article 6 products, the new team will be fully dedicated to sustainable and responsible investments (SRI).

The team will be led by Giles Money, who will be joining AllianzGI as chief investment officer of the capability in August 2023. He has 18 years of investment experience with a strong focus on sustainable investing. He joins from J Safra Sarasin Asset Management & Sarasin and Partners, where he managed two flagship global equity and global thematic funds.

Fidelity InternationalEmilie Goodall has been appointed to the newly-created position of head of stewardship, Europe. She reports into Jenn-Hui Tan, global head of stewardship and sustainable investing and is based in London.

In her new role Goodall and her team will work closely with Fidelity’s investment professionals to support ESG analysis and engagement activities. She will lead Fidelity’s collaborative and thematic engagement with companies in the region, manage Fidelity’s proxy voting in EMEA and Americas and provide market and thematic ESG insights to the business.

Goodall joined Fidelity in 2022 as director, sustainable investing and impact. She has nearly 20 years of experience in sustainable and impact finance, having worked at Bridges Fund Management, FMO (the Dutch development bank) and CAF Venturesome (a UK social investor). She led the development of the Financial System Benchmark at the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), and was head of environmental and social themed investing at the PRI.

ZEDRA – The consultancy has hired Phil Clark as client director of ZEDRA Governance. He will be based in the firm’s London office.

Kim Nash, managing director of ZEDRA Governance, said: “ZEDRA has a clear objective to grow while never compromising on skills, experience, or professional cultural fit. The independent trustee market has grown substantially in recent years as more schemes have recognised the benefits that skilled professionals can bring to pension scheme boards. It has also become more competitive, especially as the market consolidates.”

She said Clark will work closely with the firm’s clients to “manage the risks and opportunities facing their schemes”.

Clark joins ZEDRA afte a 24-year career at Mercer, starting as a trainee and finishing as a senior actuarial consultant.

VGV  – Verwaltungsgesellschaft für Versorgungswerke, the Berlin-based organisation managing eight pension funds for professionals with assets under management of €20bn, is looking to hire an employee responsible for risk management and investment controlling in its asset management department.

The new hire will have the task of preparing asset/liability management (ALM) studies, strategic and tactic asset allocation, selecting and structuring liquid and illiquid investments, of investment controlling, reporting, regular review and implementation of the sustainability principles.

The candidate should have completed training as a bank clerk, or comparable training, with professional experience in a bank, insurance company or financial service provider, knowledge of trading securities or advising on investment products in various asset classes, basic legal and tax knowledge.

AbaHanne Borst, member of the management board and head of retirement at WTW, has been appointed as a new member of the board of management of the occupational pension association Aba. Georg Thurnes was re-elected as chair of the board. His two deputies, Dirk Jargstorff, senior vice president of company pension benefits and chair of the management board of Bosch Pensionsfonds, and Claudia Picker, deputy chair of the management board of Bayer-Pensionskasse, were also re-elected.

Swedish Fund Selection Agency (Fondtorgsnämnden, FTN) Vilhelm Hultgren has been appointed to the agency’s procurement and product strategy department as a fund investigator. He comes to the position from his most recent role as a senior investment manager within fund selection and strategy at Nordea’s asset and wealth management unit, where he worked for over five years in various managerial roles.

AonAlex Beecraft has joined the firm as a partner in the UK retirement team and leader of its employer covenant practice.

Beecraft has advised trustees and corporates on covenant issues for over 10 years, first at PwC and most recently as a managing director at Cardano. In this time, he has supported defined benefit pension schemes of all sizes with strategic covenant advice in scheme funding and transactional and endgame situations, and worked with corporates to develop bespoke capital solutions to manage pensions risks more effectively.

Prior to this, his experience had also included a secondment to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) where he wrote its guidance on ’Assessing and monitoring the employer covenant’.

Schroders – The firm has continued to expand its liability-driven investment (LDI) team in the UK with the appointment of two senior LDI solutions managers to support the sustained growth of the business.

Owen Davies joins from Russell Investments and Sunil Patel from WTW. These appointments build on a number of recent hires across the LDI team, including Declan Gorton and James Whales, made in the last six months in response to strong growth in the business.

Davies spent eight years at Russell Investments, most recently as a director in the EMEA client strategy and advice team. Prior to joining Russell Investments he was an investment consultant, holding roles at Capita Employee Benefits.

Patel, with over 17 years of service in a variety of investment and pensions roles at WTW, was most recently head of clients LDI leading the London and Reigate WTW LDI team.

Both appoitnments will report to Philip Howard, head of LDI solutions who along with senior LDI solutions manager Marcella Murphy, are responsible for the development and growth of this key component within Schroders Solutions.

Pacific Asset Management (PAM)Mary Murphy has been appointed as global head of institutional sales based in PAM’s London office. She will report to chief executive officer Matthew Lamb, and will join as a partner and member of the firm’s executive committee.

Murphy joins from GAM where she was head of global consultant relations, responsible for the development and implementation of its global consultant relations strategy. Prior to this, she was head of UK investment consultant strategy, global consultant relations (EMEA) at BlackRock. She has also worked at Deutsche Asset Management and State Street Global Advisors Ireland Ltd (previously Bank of Ireland Asset Management Limited).

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