MN, Allianz, Fidelity, Principal Global Investors, Payden & Rygel, BNY Mellon, Aon, ILPA, Vigeo Eiris, HSBC, Neuberger Berman

MN – The pension manager’s CEO René van de Kieft has left his role. In a statement he said wanted to invest more time in other ambitions, such as sustainability, and helping people in economically disadvantaged positions. MN’s chair Ella Vogelaar said the decision came as a surprise to the company’s board, but said it respected his decision.

“I see my own mission as broader than what is possible as chairman of a pension provider,” Van de Kieft said. “It is an inner drive that I want to focus on with energy and conviction.”

Van de Kieft joined MN in May 2015, succeeding Ruud Hagendijk. He previously held a number of senior pensions roles including chief financial officer at PGGM and a board member at ABP. Under his stewardship MN sold its UK business and refocused on its Dutch clients, primarily the metal industry schemes PMT and PME as well as the merchant navy scheme Koopvaardij.

He is set to leave MN in July with the group’s three other board members taking on his responsibilities until a permanent successor is appointed. 

UK Treasury  UK prime minister Theresa May has asked Elizabeth Corley, vice-chair of Allianz Global Investors, to lead an industry taskforce on impact investment. The taskforce is to take forward the recommendations in a report published by an advisory group that was chaired by Corley. 

The prime minister has asked the taskforce to provide a progress report to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Culture, and John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, by the summer. The government is also expected to announce its policy response in the summer.

Fidelity International – The international investment giant has appointed Christian Staub as managing director of its continental European business. He takes over from Jon Skillman who is moving to a new role in Fidelity’s Global Workplace Investing group. Staub joins from BlackRock where he worked for four years, most recently as head of institutional client business for continental Europe and country head for Switzerland. He has also worked at Allianz and PIMCO. He takes over the 

Principal Global Investors (PGI) – Frank Richter has been joined the firm to lead its German and Austrian operations. Principal has been operational in Germany since 2003 but said this was the first time it had focused on serving the Austrian market as well. Richter joins Principal from Standard Life Investments, where he served as country head and head of institutional business for Germany and Austria. Prior to this, he was head of institutional business for Germany and Austria for AXA Investment Managers.

Payden & Rygel – The institutional fixed income manager has opened an office in Milan, its first in continental Europe. Nicolo Piotti, who joined the firm in September from Morgan Stanley, has been named managing director, with responsibility for running the Los Angeles-headquartered firm’s Italian operation. 

BNY Mellon Katherine Starks has been appointed head of the group’s asset servicing business in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and central and eastern Europe. Starks was formerly head of continental Europe for sales, relationship and account management for the Euroclear group.

Aon Bill Gourlay has been hired as global head of investment product development, a newly created role. He will be responsible for leading the firm’s work in assessing the viability of new investment solutions, as well as developing and launching them and monitoring their progress when in use by clients. Gourlay was previously the chief executive officer of Idea Group, a fintech provider of business process improvement solutions to the pensions and alternative investments sectors. 

Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) – The global organisation representing private equity investors has named Steven Nelson as its new chief executive officer, effective from 26 March. Nelson joins from consultancy group Cambridge Associates where he was chief operating officer. ILPA is currently working with the UK’s local government pension schemes and the Industry Disclosure Working Group to aid the creation of a cost disclosure template for the UK market.

Vigeo EirisArnaud de Batz is the ESG research provider’s new chief executive officer as of this week. He was most recently responsible for asset management consulting services at Accenture. Before that he was managing director at LeverEDGE Partners, with other former workplaces including Dexia Asset Management and Fitch Ratings, where he was global head of rating operations in asset management. Vigeo Eiris president Nicole Notat said: “Arnaud arrives at the right moment. The role of extra-financial ratings is confirmed by both issuers and investors.”

HSBC Securities Services  Riccardo Millich has been named sales director at HSBC Securities Services in Luxembourg, a newly created role. He will be responsible for the firm’s local sales strategy and supporting its business growth with all countries and asset classes in scope of UCITS and AIFMD. Paul Heffernan, head of cross border sales, said the group saw strong opportunities for growth in Luxembourg. 

Neuberger BermanAlan Isenberg has joined to lead the investment manager’s global product strategy and marketing work. He joins from PIMCO where he was most recently head of strategy and business management for Asia Pacific.