NEST, the UK’s workplace pension scheme set up by the government, has named Liz Fernando as its new chief investment officer. She has been promoted from her role as deputy CIO and replaces Mark Fawcett who has held the post for 14 years.

Fernando joined NEST from Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) back in November 2020, bringing with her 25 years’ worth of investment experience.

She was appointed NEST’s deputy CIO towards the end of 2021, recognising the leadership she brought to the investment team, the scheme announced.

Fawcett will remain with NEST, continuing his roles as the CEO of NEST Invest, the pension scheme’s Financial Conduct Authority-authorised subsidiary, and on NEST Corporation’s executive committee, as managing director of its investment function.

Fawcett said: “It’ll be strange after 14 years to no longer be NEST’s CIO, but I know Liz will do a fantastic job and I’m looking forward to focusing more of my time on evolving the long-term strategy of NEST Invest.”

Fawcett will be responsible for the overall management of NEST’s investment operation while Fernando will now lead on the day-to-day implementation of the fund’s investment strategy.

Helen Dean, NEST’s CEO, said: “At NEST, we face the challenge of implementing a sophisticated investment strategy while managing the growing needs of a £30bn investment business.

“Liz continues to demonstrate what excellent leadership skills she brings to the smooth running of NEST’s investment team. I’m delighted to have both her and Mark available to NEST, using their collective expertise to help guide our members’ investments through the difficult markets we’re anticipating over the coming years.”

Fernando added: “I want to empower the team to keep looking for innovative investment approaches. From our market-leading approach to responsible investment, to expanding our exposure into private markets, NEST is at its best when we’re pushing the envelope of how we can best serve our members.”

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