Asset manager Vanguard has announced Robyn Laidlaw will become its head of institutional business in Europe, transitioning from the US firm’s Australian business.

She becomes the second high-profile transfer from Australia to Europe after the appointment of John James as head of Vanguard’s European business management distribution and operation.

James will move over from managing director and head of Vanguard Australia to lead the European business.

Laidlaw, currently head of product and marketing in Australia, will report directly to James.

She fills the European head of institutional role after the untimely passing of Simon Vanstone late last year, after two years with the firm.

Laidlaw joined Vanguard Australia in 2006 as an institutional sales manager and moved on to several roles in product development and product manager for the firm’s exchange-traded funds business.

Prior to this, she worked in client management roles for Russell Investments and ING Investment Management.

Subject to approval from the UK financial services regulator, Laidlaw will assume responsibility for the institutional business in June 2015.