Universities Superannuation Scheme, IBM Netherlands, Mercer, Stenham Asset Management, Northern Trust Asset Management, Xafinity, Sacker & Partners

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – Bertrand Biragnet has been appointed head of pan-European equities at USS Investment Management. He joins from RIT Capital Partners, where he was a global equity manager. The head of pan-European equities position became available after Ben Levenstein moved internally to join the newly formed private markets group last year. Biragnet has previously held positions with Hermes Focus Asset Management and JP Morgan Asset Management. He also co-launched a long-short equity fund hosted by PCE Investors in 2009.

IBM Netherlands – The trustee board of IBM Pension Fund Netherlands (SPIN) has appointed Roeland van Vledder as chairman of the board of trustees. Vledder, who will serve as an independent chair, was a member of the board at insurance company ASR until 2012. Among other roles, he is on the board of commissioners at BNP Paribas Cardif and a member of the trustee board at the architects’ pension scheme. His appointment is to be for a period of three years.

Mercer – The consultancy has expanded its Financial Strategy Group (FSG) to the Midlands. The newly formed team of seven specialists will be jointly led by Jane Ralph, a Birmingham-based partner, and Jonathan Repp and Suthan Rajagopalan, both principals. In additional to the leadership team, the FSG team will consist of Danielle Markham, Khalil Varachhia, Richard Forrest and Baljit Khatra.

Stenham Asset Management ­– Gary Rynhoud has been appointed global head of business development, while Lydia Carroll has been appointed business development manager. Rynhoud has held various senior positions at Man Investments, which he joined in 1997, and was most recently deputy head of sales at Man Investments (Middle East). Carroll joins from Investec Asset Management, where she worked in the Middle East Client Group.

Northern Trust Asset ManagementMamadou-Abou Sarr has been named global head of ESG investing in a newly created role. Sarr has more than 10 years of investment experience, including roles at HSBC Global Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and other firms. He joined Northern Trust in 2011.

XafinityJeff Hunt has been appointed managing director, succeeding Robert Birmingham, who remains executive chairman. Hunt joined Xafinity in June 2013 as deputy managing director. Before then, he was managing director of TradeRisks and, prior to that, a partner at KPMG for eight years.

Sacker & Partners – The UK law firm for pension scheme trustees and sponsors has promoted Claire van Rees to partner. Van Rees is a member of the defined contribution team.

Bank J. Safra SarasinWolfgang Engshuber and Andreas Hoepner have joined the private bank’s newly established external sustainability advisory council (SAC). Engshuber, who will chair the new body, is the immediate past chairman of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and has previously worked for Munich Re. Hoepner, meanwhile, is an associate professor of finance at the ICMA Centre of the UK’s Henley Business School and is currently the PRI’s senior academic fellow, having acted as an academic fellow for the organisation since 2009.