EUROPE - Principal Global Investors has named Nick Lyster as chief executive of its London-based European operations.

Lyster, head of European sales and marketing since 2002, takes over from Grant Forster, who has relocated to Australia but remains head of international offices.

"Our international assets under management have experienced strong growth, especially in Europe," said the firm's global CEO Jim McCaughan. "As a result, we must further build the teams in Europe, Asia and Australasia.

"In Europe we have seen growing recognition of our strengths as an institutional asset manager providing core and specialist skills.  Nick's role will be to build on the momentum we have achieved to date."

Lyster commented: "In the first half of 2006 alone, we have won mandates of over $1.5bn from institutional investors across Europe.  We have been particularly successful with our specialist fixed income, currency and US real estate capabilities." 

He added clients range from segregated mandates for large pension funds to sub-advisory mandates for private banks. Lyster joined the firm in 1990.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal has $168.8bn in assets under management worldwide.