USS Investment Management, the investment management arm of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, has hired Janet Oram to the new role of head of asset-backed securities (ABS). She joins from BlackRock where she was managing director and head of European ABS.

The creation of this role follows the commitment that USS Investment Management made to materially develop its in-house fixed income and treasury capability to support the fund’s increasing focus on liability-driven investing.

“Insourcing also ensures that this is done in a more cost-effective manner than through third party managers,” it said.

Oram’s appointment – which has been made on a four days per week, flexible basis – marks a significant development as she will be tasked with building a new team focussed on sourcing, valuing and executing structured credit opportunities in the public markets, the firm announced.

This will be in addition to collaborating with USS Investment Management’s Private Markets Group to develop its existing private structured credit mandate, it added.

Oram has 20 years of financial services experience, having started as a business analyst in a consumer-focussed financial services product group before joining a ratings agency and then becoming a credit analyst for Barclays Global Investors in 2006.

The company was ultimately bought by BlackRock where she became head of European ABS in 2016.

In this latest role, Oram was responsible for a team managing assets across a range of mandates and fixed income funds and investing across sectors including mortgages, consumer credit and whole business loans.

She also started a personal financial education programme delivered by BlackRock staff in schools, colleges and within the Big City Bright Futures programme.

Ben Clissold, head of fixed income and treasury, said that Oram “brings a great deal of knowledge and experience that will add significant strength and depth to the team”.

Oram added: “The fixed income team is growing and I am looking forward to the opportunity to explore and develop a new strategy.”

Also joining the team is Yin Tse Loh as a portfolio manager focussed on USS’s liability-driven investment strategy.

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