IRELAND – Three pension executives of Swiss food group Nestlé have joined the board at Irish Stock Exchange-listed Robusta Asset Management Ltd.

Philippe Kneipe, chairman of Fond de Pension Nestlé in Belgium, Peter Adash of Nestlé Deutschland and Miquel Barnet, manager of Nestlé’s Iberian schemes, have been appointed.

According to an announcement by Robusta, four other Nestlé employees have also joined the board. It also disclosed that board member Anthony Fieldhouse has resigned.

Jean-Pierre Steiner, chief executive of Nestle Fonds de Pension, told IPE the resignation was prompted by the fact that Fieldhouse was not an Irish resident, but added Fieldhouse still worked for Nestlé.

Robusta, set up in 2001, has been named by PricewaterhouseCoopers as one of the top 40 fund promoters in Ireland.

The firm offers 12 Qualifying Investors Funds (QIFs) funds, which were launched between 2001 and 2004. The range includes three funds of hedge funds, as well as equity, bond and emerging market funds. A new currency-overlay fund will be added to the range in the next two months, Steiner told IPE.

Dublin-based A&L Listing Ltd. acts as the funds’ listing sponsor.

The funds employ Dimensional Fund Advisers and Martingale Asset Management LP as managers and Northern Trust as custodian.

Vevey-based Fonds de Pensions Complementaire Nestlé acts as “day to day” manager, according to A&L.

Robusta was set up as a vehicle for Nestle's small and medium-size investments, while cutting costs and using "synergies" Steiner explained.

The multinational chose Dublin in 2001 for the tax advantages offered at the time.

If Nestle had to make such a choice today, Steiner conceded that chosing between Dublin and Luxembourg would be "more difficult."