Capital Cranfield, Nomura, Partners Capital, ABN AMRO, Amundi, UBP, AP1, NOW: Pensions, Quilvest, Aon, Blue Sky Group

NOW: Pensions – The workplace pension provider for two million people has appointed Lizzy Holliday to the role of director of public affairs and policy. She will be responsible for leading the public affairs and policy strategy for the business, with a continued focus on amplifying NOW: Pensions’ mission to help people save for a more financially secure future and make pensions fair for all.

Lizzy Holliday at NOW: Pensions

Lizzy Holliday at NOW: Pensions

Holliday brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the business, having worked in pensions policy for more than 15 years. During this time she has been instrumental in developing policy solutions to support the expansion of workplace pensions in the UK and achieve better outcomes for pension savers.

She joins the master trust from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) where she led on significant policy changes to private pensions. These included the development of new frameworks such as the master trust authorisation and the initial collective defined contribution (CDC) and defined ambition (DA) pension frameworks.

Holliday was previously seconded from DWP to the Pension Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) in 2019, where she oversaw the delivery and implementation of the Retirement Living Standards, along with the PLSA’s decumulation consultation and recommendations.

Reporting into Eleanor Levy, NOW: Pensions’ chief commercial officer, Holliday will support the provider’s growth ambitions and collaborate with policymakers and the pensions industry to inform and adapt to regulatory changes, including the implementation of pensions dashboards.

AonMarc van Nuland will leave Aon Netherlands as of 1 April this year. Van Nuland was succeeded as Aon’s chief executive officer by Leonique van Houwelingen as of 1 November 2022, but remained as the firm’s chair and will help secure “a warm, client-focused hand-over” to Van Houwelingen.

Over the coming months, Van Nuland and Van Houwelingen plan to “meet as many clients as possible, solidify relationships and discuss how to better serve specific clients in this world that is changing strongly,” Aon said in a press release.

Blue Sky Group – The Dutch pension asset manager, which manages the assets of the pension funds of Dutch national airline KLM, has found replacements for its two executive directors that left the firm last year after suffering from burn-outs.

Carolin Muster-Merks joined Blue Sky Group on 1 September as chief investment officer, succeeding Jack Jonk who left the firm last May. Blue Sky only announced her appointment just before Christmas after pension regulators DNB and AFM gave the green light.

Muster-Merks previously worked for MN as director of fiduciary advice and for NN Investment Partners in several management roles.

Separately, Mark Stoffels assumed the role of director of finance and risk as of 1 December, though his appointment is yet to be approved by regulators. Stoffels worked in the same capacity at Caceis and its predecessor Kas Bank until June 2021.

He is succeeding Orpa Bisschop, who went on sick leave around that time following burn-out related symptoms. As risk manager, Bisschop had managerial responsibility for the large data breach Blue Sky Group suffered earlier that year.

AP1/WillhemMariette Hilmersson has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of Swedish residential property firm Willhem, which is owned by Swedish national pensions buffer fund AP1.

She will take up her new role around the middle of this year, according to Willhem, replacing Mikael Granath – the first CEO of the company when it was launched by AP1 13 years ago. Granath intends to retire, the firm said.

Hilmersson has been CEO for Region West at listed commercial property company Castellum since 2018, and was previously CEO of property manager AB Framtiden, which is owned by the municipality of Gothenburg, where Willhem said she worked on large urban development projects in Sweden’s second-largest city.

Amundi – The firm has made three new top appointments in Italy and Austria. Cinzia Tagliabue has been appointed chair of Amundi Italy’s board of directors, while Gabriele Tavazzani was named CEO for Italy and Franck Du Plessix CEO for Austria.

Tagliabue, head of international partner networks division and member of the general management committee of Amundi, has been CEO of Amundi in Italy since 2017, and deputy head of partner networks division and a member of the general management committee of Amundi since 2020, taking on the role of head of international partner networks division in March 2022.

Tagliabue joined Amundi from Pioneer Investments where she was CEO in Italy and head of Western Europe and Latin America since 2001. She has more than 30 years of experience in financial services with UniCredit, both on investment and distribution sides and she has been working in the investment industry since 1980. She has also been a member of the boards of Capital Italia SICAV and Aviva.

Prior to taking this new role, Tavazzani was CEO of Amundi in Austria since May 2020, having been deputy CEO since 2018. Before joining Amundi Austria GmbH, he was CEO, president of the management board and CIO of Amundi in Poland from 2015. Previous to this, Tavazzani was co-general manager and head of sales and marketing of Amundi in Italy from 2009.

He has been working within the Crédit Agricole Group since 1996 and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry, acquired both in Italy and internationally.

Du Plessix has spent seven years as CEO and chair of the board of directors of Amundi Czech Republic, investiční společnost, a.s., and Amundi Czech Republic Asset Management, a.s.

Prior to that, he held various lead roles in the business development of Amundi’s retail network and partnerships. He joined Amundi in 2008 to lead the business development of structured products with the retail distribution networks.

ABN AMRO Investment Solutions (AAIS) – The asset management company of the ABN AMRO Bank N.V. group has appointed Christophe Boucher as chief investment officer.

As part of the role, Boucher will supervise investment teams including ESG, manager due diligence (MDD), operational due diligence (ODD), portfolio management and the quantitative research teams. He takes responsibility for the firm’s robust investment process and will lead the investment strategy through a combined qualitative and quantitative approach.

As part of his role, Boucher will continue to manage a team of quantitative analysts covering all asset classes and will monitor the investment processes aimed at determining both strategic and tactical allocation opportunities as well as securities/manager selection and portfolio construction.

Union Bancaire Privée (UBP)Christophe Gantenbein joined the firm on 1 January as global head of private markets institutional solutions.

Based in Zurich, Gantenbein will be in charge of promoting UBP’s private markets offering to answer institutional clients’ needs including establishing new institutional strategic partnerships. He will work closely with Brice Thionnet, UBP’s global head of private markets, and report directly to Nicolas Faller, co-CEO of asset management and head of institutional clients.

He joins UBP after more than 12 years of service at Partners Group where he was a member of management in charge of client solutions for European institutional clients. Prior to joining Partners Group in 2010, he started his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse in 2005.

Meno Stroemer at Nomura

Meno Stroemer at Nomura

Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management (NCRAM)Meno Stroemer has joined the firm as head of emerging market (EM) corporate bond portfolio management.

Stroemer has more than 30 years of experience working in EM and credit on both the buy side and sell side in Europe and the US, and is based in New York. Most recently, he headed the portfolio management team and was lead portfolio manager of EM strategies at Fisch Asset Management in Zurich, Switzerland.

Prior to that role, he worked for Morgan Stanley where he initially built up the EM corporate trading desk and later transferred to its global capital markets group to head the EM debt syndicate function globally. He also worked on the credit desks at UBS and HSBC.

Stroemer’s arrival will enhance Nomura’s existing EM fixed income capabilities within both NCRAM and Nomura Asset Management (NAM). NCRAM maintains an investment team in New York, led by Eric Torres, which manages EM hard currency sovereign and high yield corporate bond portfolios.

NAM has a team in Frankfurt, led by Recai Gunesdogdu, which manages global and Asia-focused EM local currency strategies.

Stroemer and his team will work collaboratively with the EM hard currency sovereign and EM local currency groups to enable Nomura to offer a full suite of capabilities across the three disciplines of EM fixed income – hard currency sovereign, local currency sovereign, and corporate.

Quilvest Capital Partners – The global mid-market alternatives investment firm has appointed two senior executives to develop its institutional client network and strengthen its business development activities globally.

Sanjay Kohli joins as global head of investor solutions and capital raising, based in London. Prior to joining Quilvest, he was a managing director at Investcorp where he was responsible for European investors, fundraising and business development and for the previous 11 years, was a partner at 3i Debt Management: the predecessor to Investcorp Credit Management.

Philip Marchal has been appointed as head of North American investor solutions and capital raising and is based in New York. He joins from global placement firm Probitas Partners, where he was a managing director and relationship manager for the past decade, focusing on originating mandates and raising capital for a range of alternative investment funds.

Partners Capital – The firm has announced six senior promotions, which include two new partners and four new managing directors.

Partners Capital manages over $45B of assets on behalf of endowments and foundations, senior investment professionals and prominent families across the globe.

Emma Bewley, based in London, and Sud Murugesu, based in San Francisco, were promoted to partners. Bewley, who serves as head of private debt and uncorrelated strategies, joined the firm in 2019 in the London office. Previously, she held roles at Connection Capital as head of fund investments and Pamplona Capital as portfolio manager, after starting her career at Morgan Stanley. Murugesu serves as the head of West Coast office, which he established in 2019, after originally joining Partners Capital in its London office in 2013. He previously held roles at Bain Capital Private Credit, Marshall Wace Asset Management and Vantage Investment Management.

At the managing director level, Partners Capital announced the promotion of three client CIOs based in Boston – Anne Duggan, Leslie Fitzgerald, Sam Hufton – as well as the promotion of Michael Viehs, global head of sustainable investing, based in London. Partners Capital’s global leadership team now stands at 20 global partners and 15 managing directors.

Capital CranfieldRyan Ellett has been promoted to head of sole trusteeship at Capital Cranfield.

Ellett, who has worked exclusively on professional corporate sole trustee cases since joining the firm in June 2022, succeeds Harus Rai who served in the role for five years before being promoted to managing director.

Rai said: “Ryan has made a big impact since joining us in June and his promotion to this senior role is well deserved. We are delighted to promote from within again and I look forward to working with Ryan as he drives forward this important part of our business.”

Ellett added: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the head of sole trusteeship. We already have a very strong presence in this field which I look forward to building on and developing our proposition further to meet client expectations in an evolving marketplace.”

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