AUSTRIA - Basel-based asset manager Sarasin says it is strengthening the institutional activities of its Austrian business with the appointment of former Credit Suisse executive Susanne Müssauer.

Müssauer will be responsible for institutional business in Austria, which will include servicing existing clients as well as winning new business among banks, foundations and pension funds. She joined Sarasin on September 1.

“Sarasin’s activities used to be focused on the retail side but we are now increasing the focus on institutional business,” said Roland Gassman, head of fund distribution at Sarasin’s Vienna office.

He added: “Within the Austrian pensions market we occupy a niche of sustainable investing, so we need insider knowledge. Müssauer has the know-how as a former portfolio manager and also as a result of her work in ethical investment research, and has a good contact network in Austria.”

Müssauer worked at Credit Suisse before freelancing for a number of ethical investment foundations. She commented: “Sarasin is the leader in ethical investments in Austria. There is much potential in Austrian market: many institutions are ready to invest but haven’t given it much thought. I aim to exploit the very good potential for SRI in the Austrian market.”

Müssauer explained that she has received approval from Sarasin to retain her board membership of an ethical investment foundation.