The trade body for UK asset managers has created – and filled – the position of head of European affairs as part of its move to establish permanent representation in Europe.

Johannes Woelfing, who has been with the Investment Association (IA) for four years, has been appointed to the role and will be the association’s main representative in Brussels as of September.

He will be responsible for the IA’s policy work with regards to the European Union and for setting up the association’s Brussels office.

A spokeswoman for the IA said the move was not directly related to the UK’s departure from the EU and was part of the association’s long-term strategy for it to have representation reflecting its members’ reach.

Woelfing previously held the position of regulatory and legal specialist at the IA and is a member of the financial stability and prudential requirements working group at Efama, the Brussels-based trade body for EU fund and asset managers. He has also been a political advisor at the European Parliament, and originally trained as a lawyer in Germany.

Chris Cummings, the IA’s CEO, said: “With more than £1.4trn of European assets managed in the UK, a figure that is growing every year, it is essential that the IA has a more permanent voice in Brussels that can help represent our industry and the clients they serve at a European level.”

Woelfing’s experience would be valuable “to ensure the asset management industry’s voice is better understood by policy makers and regulators in Europe,” he added.