“By allowing overseas REITs to take significant interests in UK REITs,” Fletcher said, “the decision will ultimately increase the availability of capital to the UK market and at the same time promote the transfer of expertise, with widespread benefits for the whole industry.”Rosalind Rowe, real estate partner at PwC, noted that the government was reacting to a decline in debt since the “heady days of 2007”, when REITs were first launched in the UK.“But the market has changed,” Rowe added. “REITs have responded to the lack of bank debt by accessing new sources of capital, including increasing the number of joint ventures in which they participate.”She also said the move would allow the funds to be “more agile and diversify their holdings”.“Treating a REIT as an institutional investor does not place any barriers on the percentage of shares one REIT group can hold in another,” she said. ”This will enable the REIT and its co-investor to choose independently when to exit.” The UK government is to allow REITs to attract investment from rival listed property funds in an effort to increase liquidity in the market.The measure was confirmed as part of the coalition government’s autumn statement, which also saw plans announced to introduce a capital gains tax on property investments by overseas investors, after the coalition government initially announced its intention to change the definition of institutional investor during the 2013 Budget earlier this year.Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said of the changes: “This will increase the attractiveness of UK investment property by making it easier for REITs to raise funds through joint ventures and co-investment arrangements.”Ion Fletcher, director of finance at the organisation, added that it was very pleased the government had listened to its requests to alter the definition of institutional investor.
The European commissioner for tax has made a pleading argument to Parliament to push through the implementation of the financial transaction tax (FTT).The commissioner, Algirdas Šemeta, said that, despite the tax having a “majority support” from the public and Parliament, the leaders of the 11 member states have become susceptible to vested-interest groups.“You have had the courage and conviction to transcend individual differences,” he told MEPs. “I find myself wondering why the 11 member states have not been able to do the same.”Šemeta said the tax represented the union’s ambitions of fairness, responsibility and a strong single market and claimed Europe needed to reconnect with its citizens. He argued that the FTT was a highly popular initiative in which Europeans believed.“We all know the broad-based FTT has a lot of supporters – this is something that should not be overlooked in the avalanche of lobby-driven criticisms,” he said.“But strong vested-interest groups have worked tirelessly to impede progress, over-estimating the threats and negative impact of this tax. And this has created some apprehension amongst the member states.”Members of the European Union had been split over the implementation of the FTT, also known as a ‘Tobin Tax’ after Nobel economist James Tobin.At an initial vote, UK prime minister David Cameron used the country’s veto, going against an EU-wide implementation.The 11 euro-zone countries remained on course for implementation, while the UK launched a legal challenge with the European Court of Justice.Research against the FTT has suggested significant negative impacts on investors, including pension schemes.The City of London Corporation, in a report, claimed it could increase the cost of UK Gilt issuance by £4bn (€4.8bn) alone.The Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem also waded into the argument, suggesting the tax would cost pension schemes in the Netherlands €250m a year, while brokerage firm ICAP said the tax ran counter to the EU’s freedom of movement of capital.Šemeta remained positive and called on MEPs to speed up the process by compromising with member states.He said Parliament already presented viable concessions to the tax, including the removal of the tax on real economy transactions, intra-group transactions and within a network of de-centralised banks.However, he bemoaned member states’ lack of interest in the ideas.He told Parliament and supporters of the FTT that they must adapt to the reality and discover what could be achieved, over the pursuit of the impossible.Šemeta added that the Commission would allow the gradual implementation of the tax, if the member states were more comfortable with the concept.However, he said: “Many issues require a strong political steer in order to be resolved – and, unfortunately, that steer has been lacking up to now.”
A “significant” proportion of the insured liabilities have been reinsured by PIC to Risicom, the captive reinsurer of Siemens.Siemens sponsors several defined benefit schemes in the UK.John Smith, head of pensions at Siemens, said: “There is an overall aim to de-risk the schemes in the medium term.“Siemens’s Pension Captive Program, in collaboration with PIC, is an important and innovative part of the de-risking strategies, which works on a local level as well as at the Siemens group level.”Mercer was sole actuarial, investment and bulk-annuity adviser to the trustees of the scheme.It noted that the deal is part of a trend in de-risking by re-insuring back to a captive reinsurer.Harry Harper, principal at Mercer and lead broking adviser to the trustees, said this was a market trend likely to continue “as sponsoring employers search for new ways to manage their legacy pension scheme risks, while providing their schemes with the security of a leading UK fronting insurer”. He added: “Coming right at the end of 2015, this transaction paves the way for what will surely be an exciting 2016, with new ways of dealing with pensions risks continuing to emerge.” Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has concluded a £300m (€372m) pension insurance buy-in with a Siemens-sponsored UK defined benefit pension scheme, with a “significant” reinsurance with Siemens’s captive insurer.The scheme in question is the VA Tech UK Pension Scheme, for UK employees of the VA Tech Transmission and Distribution business acquired by Siemens in 2006.The insurance by PIC covers two tranches of pension liabilities, covering all of the scheme members (around 1,500).The first tranche is for £100m and was insured in 2013, and the second, for £200m, was insured in December last year.
“However, any complacency would be wrong,” he added. “PLSA research has suggested that many companies are not listening to feedback from shareholders on this issue and the vast majority of pension fund investors think that pay gaps between executives and the wider workforce are too large.“Our members will be concerned by the fact that multi-million pound pay packages remain the default arrangements for CEOs, despite an absence of convincing evidence that they are necessary to incentivise or reward good leadership.”The 17% reduction drops to 15% if the pay of Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, is excluded. He was the top earner in 2016, although his pay dropped by more than the average for the 25 highest-paid FTSE 100 CEOs.The CIPD/High Pay Centre analysis also showed that the average CEO was paid 129 times more than their average employee, down from a ratio of 148:1 in 2015.Increased pressure from investors and politicians as well as public opinion was said to be behind the drop in CEO pay.Investors have linked it at least in part to their efforts.Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at Legal & General Investment Management, said the asset manager had last year published revised pay principles and a paper highlighting inequality, which it sent to FTSE 350 executives.“We are encouraged by the progress being made and will continue to push companies to address pay inequality between CEOs and employees in order to achieve pay structures that are aligned with all stakeholders,” he said.A spokesperson for the Investment Association said: “The fall in CEO’s pay packages shows that FTSE 100 companies are listening to the demands of their shareholders and this is a welcome step in restoring public confidence in executive pay.“We have seen some companies working in the right direction this AGM season, with several FTSE 100 companies taking into account pay levels when setting their new pay policies.” Flash in the pan?Others pointed to political influence on investors’ behaviour.Charles Cotton, policy adviser for performance and reward at CIPD, and Stefan Stern, director at the High Pay Centre, said investors’ focus on executive pay may have been linked to an assumption that the government would this year seek to introduce legislation with recommendations on pay ratios, worker representatives on remuneration committees and annual binding votes.This assumption had been “upended” as a result of the Conservative party losing its majority following the June general election, they said. “Will the new minority government devote its limited time to reforming the way that big businesses are governed and its leaders remunerated?” they wrote. “Or will it focus all its energy on Brexit?“Our concern is that if the government vacates this space, CEO remuneration will accelerate once more, undermining employee engagement and attempts to boost workplace productivity.”Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: “We have to hope that the reversal in rising executive pay is the beginning of a re-think on how CEOs are rewarded, rather than a short-term reaction to political pressure. The fall in executive pay is a step in the right direction, but it’s still happening within an overall reward system where average wages in the UK have been flat.” In a major campaign speech last year before becoming prime minister, Theresa May pledged to tackle “corporate irresponsibility”, saying there should be binding votes on remuneration packages and that companies should disclose pay ratios.A subsequent government consultation on corporate governance reflected a softer stance, however. Company disclosure of CEO-employee pay ratios was proposed, but neither the idea of annual binding votes on pay packages nor that of electing employees to boards featured in the consultation. UK chief executives’ average pay fell 17% in the past 12 months but shareholders should not become complacent in the push for fairer remuneration, according to the UK’s pension fund trade association.The fall in FTSE 100 CEO pay was revealed in analysis published today by the CIPD, the professional body for human resources, and the High Pay Centre, a think tank.The annual survey found that the average FTSE 100 CEO received an annual pay package of £4.5m last year, compared with £5.4m in 2015.Luke Hildyard, policy lead on stewardship and corporate governance at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said the reduction was “small but significant” and viewed positively by the association.
PME, the €45bn pension fund for the Netherlands’ metal and electro-technical engineering industry, slowed down extending its investment grade credit holdings because of narrowing spreads.In its annual report for 2016, it said it had planned to increase its tactical allocation to 20%, but at year-end its stake was just over 16%.Its strategy for the asset class – which returned 5.2% and 3.2% for European and US investments, respectively – was designed to be low risk, and favoured companies with a high creditworthiness and liquidity.Outside of the bond allocation, the metal scheme made a new commitment of €700m to residential mortgages, following an initial investment of €1bn. The portfolio, with a strategic allocation of 5% of the total fund, yielded 6.5% last year. PME posted an overall result of 10.3% for 2016, including 1.6 percentage points generated by its 50% hedge of the interest rate risk on its liabilities. It has generated an average return of 6.5% a year over the course of the last 10 years.With returns of 13.1% and 12.7%, infrastructure and alternatives were the best returning asset classes. The pension fund credited low interest rates, “which offered many possibilties for attracting or extending long-term financing”, for the infrastructure result.Alternative investments, including forestry and life settlements, gained 12.7%. However, PME said it had substantially reduced the allocation to less than 1% of its total portfolio, because of its limited scale and complexity.The scheme’s private equity allocation made 11.1%, which PME also put down to the low interest level, “which had made financing and existing investments cheap and had led to higher corporate value”.“Combined with ample available capital, this, for its turn, had led to a competitive transfer market and relatively high prices,” PME added.The scheme’s real estate holdings delivered 8.1%, with Dutch property returning 8.9%, largely due to a booming market for residential rental housing.The metal scheme indicated it would prioritise investments in sustainable development and wanted to bring 10% of its entire portfolio under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within five years.It was also targeting a 25% carbon reduction through engagement with the 10 largest emitters in its investment portfolio.PME said it would also focus on impact investments – including in its own sector – in energy transition, recycling, and affordable housing. So far in 2017, PME has committed €250m to “pure impact” investments.At June-end, the pension fund’s coverage ratio stood at 95.9%. To avoid rights cuts, PME’s funding must have rise to at least 104.3% at the end of 2019.The scheme’s board said it expected that the current contribution of 23.2% – agreed between the employers and workers for a five-year period – won’t be enough to achieve the minimum required funding level.
Switzerland’s first-pillar pension fund could be forced to sell off millions in assets per month to finance pensions if no long-term funding solution is found, the country’s government has warned.The Swiss first pillar fund AHV/AVS is expected to amass a CHF43bn (€37.2bn) deficit by 2030, in a ‘worst-case’ scenario assuming no return on investments.To ensure all pension payouts are met by then, the fund needs CHF53bn, the government said in a press release about a consultation on first-pillar reforms.“Successful measures to ensure the stability of the AHV/AVS fund are urgently necessary,” the government stated. “Without them the fund would have to sell of assets worth CHF100m per month to be able to meet the pension payments.” The first pillar AHV/AVS fund currently manages CHF37.6bn in assets and is continuously paying out pensions.Money is expected to become tight from 2020 when the baby boomer generation enters the retirement phase.To mitigate this, the government has proposed various measures to stabilise the financial situation of the AHV/AVS.Reviving retirement reformsThe Swiss government wants to introduce a flexible retirement age, intended as a guideline, coupled with incentives to work longer. The new flexibility would make it possible to retire any time between 62 and 70.A new “reference age” would remain 65 for men, and the age for women would be adjusted to match it in several stages.To compensate women for the change, those closer to retirement age once the reform comes into effect would not be penalised for taking early retirement. In addition, those working beyond the reference age would be rewarded more than their male colleagues.By increasing the reference retirement age for women by one year to match that of men, the government estimated additional income of CHF10bn – some of which would be used to finance the compensatory measures.“The analysis of the referendum on 24 September 2017 has shown that increasing the retirement age for women makes compensatory measures necessary,” the government said in its statement.In autumn last year, the Swiss electorate voted against a major comprehensive reform package for the whole pension system, the Altersvorsorge 2020. One of the points of contention was the lack of compensation for women affected by the rising retirement age.After the reform proposal failed, the Swiss authorities have concentrated on the more urgent reform of the first pillar, saving necessary reforms in the second pillar for later.The government plans to put more money into the AHV/AVS via “additional financing”, beyond possible capital returns from investments. One of these “additional pots” is to come from a proposed VAT increase of 150 basis points.
One was custody technology, with the pension fund wanted to make sure it was using the best available.Fees were also considered: “We wanted to make sure we were getting value for money as part of our strategy of reducing our overall fee levels and the process also formed part of a routine tender process,” said Eyton-Jones.Last year the pension fund “internalised the sourcing and the investment due diligence” to save on costs, as noted in its 2017 annual report. Operational due diligence remains outsourced.The ability of the new custodian to deal with alternative asset classes also formed part of the pension fund’s selection criteria, Eyton-Jones told IPE.The CERN pension fund has a widely diversified alternative asset base.At the end of the first quarter this year, alternatives – excluding private equity – formed 12% of the portfolio and private equity another 7%.The alternatives exposure mainly comprises hedge funds but also commodities and private debt.In a separate development, the CERN pension fund this year appointed Jacob Bjorheim as the new external expert for its investment committee, concluding a search initiated in 2017.Bjorheim replaces Pierre Sauvagnat, who had served on the investment committee for a six-year term.Bjorheim is lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Basel and visiting fellow in the Department of Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich. The CHF4.25bn (€3.8bn) pension fund for the CERN institute in Switzerland has appointed Northern Trust as its new custodian.Matthew Eyton-Jones, chief executive officer of the pension fund, said the appointment followed an extensive review and tender process. Eyton-Jones was re-appointed as CEO for another three-year term starting in July.Northern Trust will take over from State Street in Munich, which had been the pension fund’s custodian for 24 years.Eyton-Jones noted three major factors were considered as part of the pension fund’s review.
The number of UK companies offering employees flexibility in how they use pension contributions will triple over the next two years, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW).The consulting giant’s 2018 UK Pension Strategy Survey found that, while just 9% of organisations currently allowed all employees to use their pension contributions for other financial priorities, three in 10 (29%) said they would do so within the next two years.Among organisations with over 5,000 employees, 38% expected to offer greater flexibility in the next two years, up from 6% that currently offered the option.A third (32%) of medium-sized companies – 1,000 to 4,999 employees – said they would introduce flexibilities, with 11% currently offering them. Companies with fewer than 1,000 employees planning more flexibility are set to double in number, from 8% to 19%. However, controlling the cost of pension provision remained a significant challenge for employers, WTW reported, with 40% of companies saying they needed to maintain the current level of spend on benefits or retirement provision.More than a third (37%) of employers with open defined benefit (DB) plans have taken steps to control costs, WTW found, mainly by increasing member contribution rates. Union pressures, legal restrictions and increased complexity were the main barriers to changes in DB plan design.Top priorities for respondents over the short-term included adding to existing financial wellbeing programmes (33% of organisations) and increasing the range of choice offered to employees in relation to their wider benefits (31%).Minh Tran, director of wealth and workplace savings at WTW, said: “While managing cost remains a key influence, organisations of all sizes are increasingly willing to embrace new ways of structuring and delivering benefits.”Tran added: “Employers appear increasingly keen to view retirement saving less as a stand-alone issue, and more as an integral part of their employees’ wider financial planning and wellbeing, and are exploring new ways of delivering this support.”In carrying out its survey, WTW questioned pension trustees and representatives of the pensions, benefits and HR teams from nearly 200 organisations in summer 2018.Last week, UK defined contribution master trust the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) launched the trial of a savings product to sit alongside its auto-enrolment pension fund service.Shoe repair chain Timpson will pilot a scheme under which pension contributions above the auto-enrolment minimum will be diverted into an ‘emergency’ cash account. This account will be capped at £1,000 of savings; once reached, all contributions will go to the pension fund.Savers will be able to withdraw savings, and are expected to use the account to fund financial emergencies.
State Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue was moved this week from Wall Street in New York to Paternoster Square in London, close to the London Stock ExchangeNordea launches gender diversity investment fundNordea Asset Management has added a Global Gender Diversity Fund to its product range, coinciding with International Women’s Day.The strategy aims to “capitalise on research revealing higher equity market returns are being achieved by companies at the forefront of gender diversity”, Nordea said.The fund has a universe of 1,700 companies from which to select based just on “fair gender diversity representation”, the asset manager said. These will then be screened for liquidity, ESG and financial qualities to come up with a smaller group of roughly 350 stocks, which will in turn be assigned a gender diversity score.Fund managers Julie Bech and Audhild Asheim Aabø will then select roughly 80-100 stocks for their portfolio.Nordea also linked the fund to one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.“Investors are beginning to note the effects of gender diversity on corporate performance, with improved gender diversity being linked to broadened perspectives and improved decision making,” Nordea said. It cited data from the DDI Global Leadership Forecast 2018, which reported that better gender diversity resulted in improved sustained profitable growth, corporate culture and leadership strength. However, the number of schemes with female board members increased by 5 percentage points to 63%.That said, a large majority (73%) of pension funds with an all-male board filled vacancies with another male in 2017.The committee said it regretted this development, adding that these decisions lacked a proper explanation.“Pension funds deny themselves the advantage of a diverse board,” it said.Investors targeting diversityAs listed companies begin holding their annual general meetings this month, investors have vowed to put boards under pressure to address diversity issues.The Investment Association, the trade body for the UK’s £7.7trn (€9bn) asset management industry, said last month that its Institutional Voting Information Service would focus on board diversity alongside remuneration when engaging with companies this year.Andrew Ninian, the association’s director of stewardship and corporate governance, said: “Evidence clearly shows that more diverse boardrooms make better decisions. Investors want to see greater diversity in the companies they invest in to ensure our savers and investors are getting the best returns possible.”In addition, the Church Investors Group – which represents investment entities for UK church groups – has also vowed to put pressure on listed companies to improve diversity.The £21bn group said it would vote against the chairs of nomination committees at companies listed on main indices in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand if they do not have at least one female director. It previously only focused on UK companies. Dutch pension funds implementing the country’s code of conduct are falling short on improving diversity, according to the code’s dedicated monitoring committee.In its annual report, Margot Scheltema, the committee’s chair, said that despite overall adherence to the code continuing to improve, pension funds missed chances to appoint women and younger participants.The committee found that, in 2017, 82% of schemes without people aged under 40 on their board failed to appoint a younger trustee when filling vacancies.As a consequence, the proportion of pension funds with younger participants on their board – 38% – remained unchanged.
Smart Pension, EFRAG, KENFO, Federated Hermes, Aegon AM, Finanstilsynet, London CIV, Hymans Robertson, Equitix, PGIM Fixed Income, Neuberger Berman, PineBridge Investments, Capital Group, RPMI Railpen, SarasinSmart Pension – Jamie Fiveash has been named UK chief executive officer of Smart, the global platform provider behind Smart Pension Master Trust.He has been with Smart as its chief operating officer since 2017, having previously been at B&CE, the providers of The People’s Pension. His appointment to UK CEO comes after co-founders Andrew Evans and Will Wynne recently took on the roles of group CEO and group managing director, respectively. Fiveash has also previously been a non-executive director of the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association board.Evans said: “ As an expert on the UK pensions market, we are confident that Jamie will lead our home country successfully through its continued period of growth and secure a significant proportion of the UK workplace pensions market onto the Smart Platform.” Smart Pension has nearly £1bn (€1.1bn) in assets under management. Legal & General Investment Management, J.P. Morgan, Link Group, Natixis Investment Managers and Barclays are all investors in Smart. EFRAG – The members and chair of a task force that will carry out preparatory work on possible EU non-financial reporting standards have been appointed, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group announced this week.The European Lab Steering Group, which appointed the individuals, said that, as per requirements from the European Commission, the project task force had ”a balanced representation of a broad range of stakeholders with a legitimate interest in non-financial information, spanning the public sector, the private sector, SMEs and civil society from across the EU”.Patrick de Cambourg, honorary chair of Mazars and president of ANC, the French accounting standards board, has been named chair of the group. He described the taskforce’s objective as “aligned with my personal strong conviction that it is critical that non-financial information be reaching the same level of robustness and quality as financial information, to create coherence and consistency in corporate reporting, to ensure the full success of the sustainable finance agenda of the European Commission, and to stimulate global evolution, with the European Union being one of the leaders in this crucial field”.The taskforce has more than 30 members. There is no stakeholder category specifically for institutional investors or asset owners but individuals who could be seen as representative of that group include Ron Gruijters, sustainability policy officer at Eumedion, the Dutch group representing the interests of institutional investors in the field of corporate governance and sustainability. The entire membership of the task force can be seen here.KENFO – Germany’s nuclear waste management fund, has appointed Birgit Steintjes as the new head of finance/controlling, effective 1 August. Prior to joining KENFO, Steintjes served at INTECH, KPMG, and Bankhaus Lampe.Verena Kempe, co-head, private equity at Feri Trust, will also soon join KENFO as its new head of investment management with a focus on illiquid investments.The fund is also planning to appoint a new expert for sustainability and communication on 1 October and is looking to fill the position of chief operating officer following Victor Moftakhar’s decision not to extend his contract.Federated Hermes – The international business of Federated Hermes has hired Kate Hillyar as UK business development director who will joint his month. Hillyar will report to Clive Selman, head of UK distribution, who heads up a team of 14 focused on wholesale, institutional and consultant relations distribution channels.Based in London, Hillyar will focus on the UK institutional channel, helping drive new business and raise third party assets across the firm’s full range of institutional investment capabilities. This newly-created role demonstrates Federated Hermes’ commitment to offering responsible investment solutions in line with the growing interests of this client base, as driving forces such as the global pandemic and more stringent regulation across Europe have led to institutional investors reassessing how they allocate their capital.Hillyar joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments where she was transferred from the Australian office in 2019 to help drive the UK institutional sales business. Her deep knowledge of ESG and SRI, public and private market strategies in Australia, coupled with the work she has done in the UK market, shows strong alignment to the core values of Federated Hermes.Hillyar has a wealth of experience working with institutional clients, insurance and consultant firms as well as expertise in launching new strategies. She joined Standard Life Investments in 2016 as an institutional business development director in Sydney and was responsible for Australia and New Zealand institutional sales.Prior to her career at Aberdeen Standard Investments, she held roles at several Australian asset management and owner firms, including Macquarie Group, Credit Suisse, Nab Asset Management and NGS Super, specialising in institutional sales.Aegon Asset Management – The asset manager has strengthened its DACH sales team with the appointment of Frank Weber as institutional sales manager. Based in Aegon AM’s Frankfurt office, Weber will report to Sven Becker, head of DACH and southern Europe. Alexandra Haggard, Capital GroupHaggard will oversee the strategy and expansion of Capital Group’s investment services in Europe and Asia. She will lead a team of product specialists who support the business with product development and investment expertise across the firm’s range of equity, fixed income and multi-asset funds for Capital Group’s clients in Europe and Asia.This will also include the build out of its solutions business to provide multi-asset portfolio solutions to meet investor needs and the growth of the client analytics group to deliver thought leadership on key portfolio construction topics.Haggard joins Capital Group from BlackRock, where she was the global head of equity product and the EMEA head of strategic pricing. Prior to this role she was CEO of Stamford Associates, a UK consultant, and managing director for product and marketing for EMEA at Russell Investments. She is also a founding member of the Diversity Project and a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst UK’s Advisory Council.RPMI Railpen – The firm that manages £30bn of assets on behalf of the railway pension schemes has appointed Martin Hunter as a pensions policy actuary. He will report to Warwick Mason, pensions policy director.Hunter joins Railpen from XPS Pensions Group, the listed pensions consultancy, where he has worked for the past 16 years after graduating from Oxford University. He qualified as an actuary in 2008. He has focused on corporate and transaction advisory work involving defined benefit pension schemes and, as a partner at XPS, built up a client base that included some 25 employers with sections in the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS).At Railpen Hunter will be responsible for ensuring the trustee board and its committees can agree with employers’ integrated funding solutions. He will also support the strategic development of the fiduciary team, led by Mads Gosvig, chief fiduciary officer.Gosvig said: “Martin is widely respected in his field and is a great addition to the team. He brings a wealth of highly relevant experience in railway pension schemes, particularly from an employer’s perspective, which will allow him to hit the ground running.”Hunter added: “Over the years I have gained some understanding of the RPS and its unique characteristics, and the market-leading integrated funding strategy the trustee has developed to achieve its objective of paying members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.“I admire Railpen’s and the trustee’s commitment to the continuing provision of defined benefit pensions and I am looking forward to working with them to further evolve their funding strategy, in the face of challenging economic conditions and changes to the regulatory environment, to ensure that defined benefit pensions continue to provide the best possible outcome for the members of the railway pension schemes.”Sarasin & Partners – The global thematic investment manager with £15.4bn invested on behalf of charities, private clients and institutions, has hired Matt Pumo as head of institutional. Pumo, who is tasked to grow the group’s presence in the UK and explore global opportunities, has two decades of experience in the institutional space – particularly in the global consultant channel and the top end of the UK pension funds market.Pumo joins from Newton Investment Management, where he was head of UK institutional business development for the past four years. Having started his career in 1994, he spent the last two decades developing key relationships primarily across pension funds and investment consultants. Prior to working at Newton, he held roles at Neuberger Berman, Gartmore Investment Management and Liontrust Asset Management.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Frank Weber, Aegon AMIn this new role for the business, Weber will be responsible for managing and building relationships with institutional clients throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. His key focus will be on clients looking for liability-driven investing (LDI) solutions, including insurance companies and pension funds.Weber has more than 20 years of experience in financial services distribution. He joins Aegon AM from Barclays where he was director, insurance & pension solutions for 10 years. His role at Barclays was within the firm’s fixed income solutions team, where he worked with German insurance companies and pension funds.Before Barclays, Weber was director, insurance sales for NATIXIS Zweigniederlassung Deutschland (Natixis) where he was responsible for building relationships with German and Austrian insurance companies and pension funds, promoting the firm’s full product range. He has also had sales roles at ABN AMRO Global Markets and DZ Bank.Elsewhere, Mary Kerrigan was appointed to Aegon AM’s UK board as non-executive director. She joined the board’s four existing members – David Watson, Bas NieuweWeme, Stephen Jones and Jane Daniel – on 7 September providing independent oversight, advice, support and scrutiny. Mary Kerrigan, Aegon AMKerrigan brings a wealth of expertise, having held both senior management positions and non-executive directorships with several prestigious financial services companies. These include partner and senior investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson, where she advised large UK and international institutional investors on risk management, asset allocation and investment management strategy.She joins the business as it moves into the next phase of its development with the retirement of the Kames Capital brand and move to the single global Aegon Asset Management brand.Kerrigan’s current directorship roles include non-executive director of Just Retirement & Partnership Life Assurance, the insurance subsidiaries of Just Group plc, where she is chair of the firm’s investment committee. She is also non-executive director and chair of the risk committee of New Ireland Assurance Company, Ireland’s only bancassurer.Additionally, she is a member of the independent governance committee at Prudential Assurance Company UK. She is also a trustee at the London Irish Centre charity, which provides welfare services and promotes Irish arts and culture in London.Kerrigan replaced Arnab Banerji, as he completed nine years as a non-executive board member.Danish FSA (Finanstilsynet) – Denmark’s minister of business and industry Simon Kollerup has appointed four new members to the supervisory board of the Danish FSA, including Paul Brüniche-Olsen, former chief executive officer of the Danish teachers’ pension fund Lærernes Pension. Brüniche-Olsen left the pension fund a year ago after nearly 25 years as CEO.The other new FSA board members appointed are Ken Lamdahl Bechmann, professor in the department of finance at Copenhagen Business School; Thomas Elholm, professor within the University of Copenhagen’s faculty of law, and Troels Oerting Jorgensen, chair of the advisory board of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity. The FSA’s board now consists of nine members, including chair Nina Dietz Legind.London CIV – The asset pooling vehicle for local authority pension funds is looking to hire a senior ESG analyst/responsible investment manager, according to a post on LinkedIn. It said the new role was “critical”, with a remit to support the head of responsible investment by analysing and reporting on the environmental and social impacts associated with London CIV’s funds.It also said the role would be suited to an experienced ESG analyst “with a genuine interest in the impact of ESG risk factors on portfolio performance”.First State Investments (FSI) – First State has named Gary Cotton as managing director, UK. In this role, Cotton will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm’s business in the UK, subject to regulatory approval, and will join the boards of FSI UK.Cotton, who joins 14 September and reports to Chris Turpin, regional managing director, EMEA, will replace Turpin, who was appointed global director of corporate development in May 2020 and who continues in his current role.Cotton joins from M&G Investments where he spent 23 years, most recently as chief operating officer of M&G Limited from 2017-2019. In this role, he was responsible for the firm’s operational management and was a member of the M&G management committee and chair of the dealing management and operations and technology committees.Hymans Robertson – The consultancy has appointed Simon Mortimer to the new role of chief digital officer (CDO) marking a commitment by the pensions and financial services consultancy to grow and enhance its digital impact.Mortimer joins The Body Shop, where he was vice president of digital covering the US and Canada, based in New York. Prior to this he worked in Australia and the UK where he specialised in digital strategy and delivery in roles working for firms such as Bupa, RSA and Saga.Shireen Anisuddin, managing partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “We’ve created this new role as a commitment to putting digital capabilities at the heart of what we do for our clients.”He said Mortimer will work alongside the firm’s head of markets, the management board and the digital community “to harness the full potential of our data, tools, systems and technology capabilities”.“We aim to transform the digital impact that we have on the markets in which we operate and this appointment will enable us to do this. We want to offer our clients efficient digital solutions that could previously have been seen as impossible,” Anisuddin added.Equitix – Larissa Benbow, formerly head of fixed income at the local authority pension pooling vehicle London CIV, is now a director at infrastructure specialist Equitix, according to her LinkedIn profile.She worked at London CIV from June 2017 to February this year, having previously worked at AustralianSuper as senior manager, portfolio construction. Other past experience includes heading the managing of the investments for the HBOS final salary pension scheme.Equitix is a UK investor, developer and fund manager of core infrastructure assets in the UK and Europe.PGIM Fixed Income – The global asset manager, which has $920bn (€446bn) in assets under management, has hired Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson into the newly created role of head of environmental, social & governance (ESG) research, effective immediately. Unanyants-Jackson is based in London and will report to Rich Greenwood, head of credit and head of PGIM FIxed Income’s London office.ESG considerations are fully integrated into all PGIM Fixed Income’s investment processes. All securities that the firm invests in across all portfolios are fully analysed with respect to ESG factors utilising PGIM Fixed Income’s proprietary ESG rating framework — with ratings assigned for every issuer.Unanyants-Jackson is responsible for managing further strategic integration of ESG research across all elements of PGIM Fixed Income. She will co-chair the ESG committee that is tasked with governing PGIM Fixed Income’s ESG approach, alongside existing co-chair Temple Houston, head of global investment grade credit research.Unanyants-Jackson joins from Allianz Global Investors where she was the global head of ESG research since 2016, leading on the implementation of ESG integration across fundamental equity and fixed income strategies. Prior to this she was a director of governance and sustainable investment at BMO GAM (formerly F&C Investments).Neuberger Berman – Kaveh Samie has been named as executive chair and head of Middle East and North Africa at the firm effective immediately. Based in Dubai, Samie will oversee client coverage across the region.Prior to joining Neuberger Berman, Samie spent almost nine years at KKR, most recently as CEO and head of Middle East, North Africa and new markets. Previously he held senior roles at firms including HSBC and Citigroup, and has more than 30 years of experience in financial services in the region.Samie takes over from Jahangir Aka who, after 12 and a half years in the region, is moving back to London into a role focused on official institutions more broadly, and will work closely with Samie and the team in Dubai to ensure a smooth transition.Dik van Lomwel, head of EMEA and Latin America at Neuberger Berman, said: “As our client footprint continues to grow in the Middle East, local leadership and deep knowledge of the regional investment landscape continues to be important to our clients. Kaveh brings with him 34 years’ experience working with some of the largest and most sophisticated institutions in region and we are delighted to welcome him to the firm.”PineBridge Investments – The asset management firm has appointed Brian McCarthy as chief risk officer, Europe. He joins PineBridge Investments Ireland and will oversee all aspects of risk management in Europe. He will ensure the effective operation of the firm’s risk management infrastructure, covering PineBridge Funds – UCITS and AIFs, across fixed income, equities, multi-asset and private market/alternatives – as well as oversight of the firm’s operational risk management.McCarthy is based in PineBridge’s Dublin office, and will report to Tracie Ahern, chief financial officer and chief risk officer. He will also assume the role of the designated person for fund risk oversight in the Irish Management Company and will have a local reporting line to Mick Sweeney, CEO of PineBridge Investments Ireland, who has overall responsibility for the Irish Management Company.Before joining PineBridge, McCarthy was chief risk officer at Ashmore Investment Management Ireland, where he was responsible for building and maintaining the firm’s risk management infrastructure. Prior to this he worked for the Irish National Treasury Management Agency as senior risk manager. He has also held roles at the Bank of Ireland Group, Bank of Ireland Asset Management and BNP Paribas.Capital Group – The asset manager, which holds more than $1.9trn in assets under management, has appointed Alexandra Haggard in the newly created position of head of product and investment services for Europe and Asia. She is based in London and reports to Guy Henriques, head of Europe and Asia client group.