NETHERLANDS – Dutch Shell Pension Fund investment strategist Helmut Cardon has quit to join US investment bank Morgan Stanley in May. (updated)

Cardon - a strategist for the Shell Asset Management Company - is due to join Morgan Stanley’s Amsterdam-based European pensions group at the start of next month.

IPE understands that Cardon will be working with Morgan Stanley’s man on the ground for its Dutch pensions advisory group, Patrick Lighaam.

They will report to Jakob Horder and Mike Turnbull – the London-based co-heads of the financial institutions group team, which forms part of Morgan Stanley’s global capital markets group.

According to reports, Morgan Stanley has a roughly 20-strong European pensions team. Morgan Stanley declined to comment today on Cardon’s new position.

According to Shell, Cardon "leaves in complete harmony". He is currently away on leave until April 24. He informed Shell of his departure at the start of the year to ensure enough time to find a successor.

The €16.2bn Dutch Shell Pension Fund achieved a 20.9% total return for 2005, and outperformed its benchmark by 4.5%.

In other news, no replacement has been named yet for former Morgan Stanley European pensions group chief Alan Rubenstein. He was pinched by global investment bank Lehman Brothers in February to launch a new pensions group.