Sixty UK local authority pension funds, with around £120bn (€147bn) in assets, are to vote against appointing Anthony Hayward as chairman of GlencoreXstrata, citing his inability to create a mixed-gender board.The public sector funds, under the guidance of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) said it would oppose Hayward’s nomination due to his links to the directors nomination committee.GlencoreXstrata is now the only company in the FTSE 100 index with an all-male board and will put forward two males for election as non-executive directors.The LAPFF said, given that the company has yet to set targets for female board representation, Hayward, as chair of the nomination committee over the last year, must bear responsibility. Hayward is former chief executive of oil giant BP, before his resignation following the company’s part in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.Councillor Kieran Quinn, chair of the forum, said: “The forum will be advising members to oppose his re-election.”Quinn, who also chairs the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, a £12.5bn scheme, said the forum warned companies it was going to be increasing its engagement approach.“The company has yet to set any target for female representation, nor has it disclosed to shareholders the proportion of women in executive management positions in this year’s annual report,” he said.“There is no 2015 target disclosed for a proportion of women on the board. The LAPFF signalled a firming up of its engagement approach, that it would review the diversity status and disclosure of all FTSE 100 companies and recommend oppose votes where progress was lacking.”The current level of holdings between the 60 funds in GlencoreXstrata is difficult to tell given the mix of active and passive mandates held by the members.Given the level of assets held by the schemes, and the company’s significance to the FTSE 100 index, exposure to GlencoreXstrata would be both widespread and significant, a spokesman said.The funds were also one of several institutional investors to reject Barclay’s remuneration report, although eventually they lost out by a two-thirds majority.At the time, the forum said pressure from institutional investors was the only meaningful way to spur change at the banks, and other holdings.
Non-regulated rental property in the Netherlands requires considerable investment in particular, he said.Also during the conference, Nortbert Bol, managing director at Grontmij Capital Consultants, argued that there was room for Dutch institutional investors to increase their infrastructure allocations.He pointed out that, worldwide, the target allocation of “mainly large investors” was 5%, while this figure was just 3% in the Netherlands.He suggested smaller pension funds could also invest in infrastructure as a diversifier and overcome potential barriers, such as a lack of expertise, through co-operation.He said he expected demand for sustainable-energy infrastructure investments to grow, “as this would generate proper returns whilst contributing to the social goal of fighting climate change”.Responding to Bol’s presentation, Loek Sibbing, chief executive at the new Dutch Investment Institution (NLII), suggested political risk for investments in infrastructure projects could be mitigated by concluding “clear long-term agreements” with the government.He said institutional investors had already committed approximately 50% of the required assets to the NLII’s recently launched investment funds for subordinated loans for small and medium-sized companies (ALF) and for corporate loans (BLF), before any actual loan had been placed.The loans – to be distributed through banks – are expected to return 450 and 275 basis points in excess of the swap rate, respectively, according to the NLII.Sibbing also indicated that the NLII was currently assessing 40 projects, including sustainable housing, thermal grids and schools, on their suitability to be placed together in €500m investment funds.The NLII was established last year with the aim of attracting pension funds to invest in the local economy by linking supply and demand. Care property as an asset class is to become as significant as the office and retail real estate sectors in the Netherlands, according to Dick van Hal, chief executive at the €6.7bn property investor Bouwinvest. Speaking at the recent annual conference of IPE sister publication PensioenPro, van Hal said demand for high-quality real estate in the care sector far outstripped supply, and that there were still relatively few investors active in the market.Previously, Bouwinvest – property investor for BpfBouw, the €53bn pension fund for the Dutch building sector – indicated that care property had “enormous” growth potential and said it had received a €300m investment mandate from BpfBouw.Van Hal also noted that the market for rental residential property was becoming “very hot” on the back of a “race to catch up after the serious slowdown of building activity during the financial crisis”.
“Returns were positive for all asset classes during the first half of the year,” Hiidenpalo said.Equities had been the strongest performing asset class, returning 13.4% compared with 5.4% in the same period last year, led by European equities which returned 13.8% and private equity, which generated 14.6%, up from 7.5%, Elo said.Hiidenpalo said Elo had moved to trim its equity risk from April.“Equity market pricing has remained higher than average and there has been no clear change for the better in the current year’s return expectations,” she said.Elo reported that it had continued diversifying its interest rate risk investments outside the euro area, keeping its interest rate position moderate by underweighting Europe in particular.It also said it reduced exposure to corporate bonds during the spring.Because of low interest rates, returns for fixed-income investments came in at 0.2%, down from 2.9% in the same period a year before, Elo said.Pension assets grew to €20.8bn at the end of June from €19.9bn at the end of December.Solvency increased to 27.5% of technical provisions at the end of June from 25.8% at the end of December, rising in absolute terms to €4.5bn from €4.1bn.Premiums written were up slightly year-on-year, at €1.6bn at the end of June from €1.5bn by the same point last year. Pensions mutual Elo made 4.9% on investments in the first half of this year with returns from all asset classes in the black.In its interim report, Elo, which was formed in January 2014 through the merger of Finland’s Pension Fennia and LocalTapiola, said it had cut equity risk between January and June, with the equity allocation falling to 32.2% of risk-adjusted assets from 35.3% at the end of December.Hanna Hiidenpalo, director and CIO of Elo, said: “During the first half of the year, Elo’s investment income remained at a good level despite the strong movements on the equity and fixed income markets during the second quarter.”There had been no significant change in the return level at the end of June from that in March, she said.
A Towers Watson survey of Spanish occupational pension funds has shown those more closely monitoring the risk associated with individual asset classes achieving a better return risk.The study attracted responses from 28 of Spain’s largest 40 pension funds, which manage around €21bn in total. Responses account for 79% of the €26.7bn in assets run by the 40 largest, and 62% of the €33.8bn held by the country’s private pensions industry as a whole.Investment returns over one, three and five years to 30 June 2014 were compared for those 40 largest funds which include the return and potential risk of each asset class when defining their investment strategy, against Spanish occupational pension funds as a whole, using figures from INVERCO, Spain’s investment and pension association, for the latter.For all three time periods, the median return from the Top 40 funds employing risk/return considerations exceeded that for the pension system as a whole: the annualised median returns over five years were 6.24% for the Top 40 funds, and 5.26% for the entire system. Furthermore, median returns for the worst-performing 5% over the same five years stood at 3.16% for the Top 40 funds, and 1.94% for the whole system, showing better risk management by the 40 largest.Returns for Top 40 funds with geographically diversified fixed income portfolios were also compared with returns from those Top 40 funds with fixed income portfolios most concentrated on Europe.Over all three time periods, fifth percentile returns were higher for the geographically-diversified portfolios than for those focusing on Europe: over five years, annualised returns were 3.77% and 2.27%, respectively.For equity portfolios, the five-year returns were 3.55% for diversified portfolios and 2.54% for those which were Europe-centric.David Cienfuegos, head of investment, Spain, Towers Watson, said: “The results are a useful guide to understanding how the largest occupational pension plans in Spain are developing over time.“Some findings are extremely encouraging, as they put into perspective the effort and consideration made by boards of trustees in maximising the value of their pension plan for retirement.”Cienfuegos noted that some schemes had “cutting-edge” asset allocation procedures.“Others, however, show how far we are from understanding the difference between investing our savings in the short-term, and investing for retirement,” he said.He also said: “Those who didn’t diversify have suffered underperformance even at a time when fixed income exposure would have given investors good returns.”The survey was carried out to determine most important aspects for pension fund investment strategy.It found that 67% of control committees of the Top 40 pension funds considered return and potential risk from each asset class to be a “very important” aspect of defining investment strategy, the remaining 33% saying it is “important”.Meanwhile 46% identified return objectives, and 42% sensitivity to risk, as “very important”.Other factors such as economic outlook and replacement rate at retirement were considered much less significant.When defining strategic asset allocation, 46% of Top40 funds believed diversification is “very important”, with 42% saying recommendations by fiduciary managers, and 38% capital preservation, are also very important.Average asset allocations was 66% in fixed income, 24% in equities, and 4% in real estate, private equity, and other alternatives.Fixed income portfolios show a bias towards Europe, with the region accounting for an 89% share of all fixed income portfolios. There was a further bias towards peripheral government fixed income (Spain, Italy and Portugal), which made up 44% of fixed income portfolios.Within the equity allocation, 65% was to Europe.Cienfuegos said: “There is continuing debate within pension funds as to solutions for the problem of low interest rates. Most pension funds think alternatives, especially hedge funds and private equity, can contribute in reducing risk through diversification and greater efficiency in the risk/return binomial.”Equity hedges have been implemented by 80% of the Top40 pension funds, while 69% have currency, and 35% interest rate, hedges in place.
Alecta, Pensions Trust, BlackRock, ARC Fiduciary, APG, Robeco, BNP Paribas IM, Deutsch Asset & Wealth Management, LGIM, JPMAM, Fidelity, Northern Trust, Rikshem, Unilever, TBI, ASR, Philips, Actiam, Vesteda, AFM, Kempen, UBP, M&G, UBS AMAlecta – Sweden’s largest occupational pension provider has reorganised, creating new departments and making associated management changes. Katarina Thorslund, CFO and executive vice-president, will lead a new accounts department covering Alecta’s private and corporate customers. A department for managing and developing pension products has been established, which will be led by Fredrik Palm, senior actuary at Alecta. The provider’s information and marketing departments will be merged into one, with newly recruited Martin Hedensiö as head of the new communications department. Pensions Trust – The £8.5bn (€10bn) UK workplace pension fund has appointed Cliff Speed as CIO, replacing David Adkins, who left to become head of investment strategy for Lloyds Banking Group’s pension funds. Speed joins from BlackRock, where he worked as an “outsourced CIO for many significant pension funds”. A qualified actuary, he was previously the CIO of insurer Paternoster and has also worked as an investment consultant. ARC Fiduciary – Paulus Ingram has left Dutch asset manager APG, where he was head of hedge fund investing, to co-found a US-based institutional manager focused on sustainable investing. ARC Fiduciary will seek to achieve financial outperformance while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Robeco Institutional Asset Management – Gilbert van Hassel has been appointed chief executive and chairman of the management board of the €124bn investment manager. As of 19 September, he will succeed Leni Boeren. Boeren took over in May, when Japanese owner Orix introduced a new group structure that led to the departure of three board members, including then chief executive David Steyn. BNP Paribas Investment Management – James Dilworth, until recently chief executive at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s Germany business, has been appointed to the newly created role of global head of sales. At Deutsche, which split its asset and private wealth business last year, Dilworth was also global head of active asset management. At BNP Paribas IM, he is also a member of the executive committee, reporting to Frédéric Janbon, chief executive the French investment manager. Legal & General Investment Management – Simon Chinnery has been appointed to the new role of head of DC client solutions. He joins from JP Morgan Asset Management, where he worked for 11 years, most recently as head of UK DC. Before that, he worked at ABN Amro.Fidelity International – Juliet Bullick has joined the global institutional team as global head of consultant relations. She joins from BlackRock, where she most recently worked as head of inclusion and diversity for the EMEA region. Her previous roles at BlackRock included head of UK institutional business. Northern Trust – The investment manager and asset service provider has created a new role of head of its institutional investor group in the UK, Ireland and Guernsey, hiring James Wright for the position. Wright joins from JP Morgan, where he was most recently head of sales and relationship management, responsible for developing outsourced asset management relationships.Rikshem – Sophia Mattsson-Linnala has been appointed chief executive of the Swedish property company, jointly owned by state pensions buffer fund AP4 and workplace pension provider AMF. Mattsson-Linnala will take over from acting chief executive Sven-Göran Svensson, the company’s head of administration, who filled the top position temporarily following the sudden departure of then chief executive Jan-Erik Höjvall in March. Mattsson-Linnala’s previous roles include chief executive positions at property companies and being head of the finance and economy unit at SABO, the Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies.Unilever – Jeanelle Kooman has joined Progress and Forward, the two Dutch pension funds of Unilever, as a director, effective 1 September. Kooman joined from the €227m pension fund of TBI, where she has been a board member and secretary over the past two years. At Progress and Forward, she succeeds Rianne Lemsom, who moved to Global Pensions at Unilever. Kooman previously worked as a senior actuary and investment consultant at Towers Watson for 10 years. ASR – The Dutch insurer has appointed Folkert Pama as director of sales and customer service for pensions, as of 1 October. He will be tasked with achieving the company’s commercial targets and optimising client services and the distribution channel, including ASR’s new general pension fund (APF). Pama was founder, and subsequently director, of the first low-cost defined contribution vehicle (PPI) in the Netherlands of Dutch provider BeFrank, a subsidiary of insurer Delta Lloyd. He was succeeded by Marianne de Boer-Maasland, as of 1 July. Philips Pensioenfonds – Annemiek van Vuren has been appointed manager for asset-liability management at the €19bn Dutch pension fund. She joined from asset manager Actiam, where she has been allocation manager since July 2014. Before that, she served in a similar position at SNS Asset Management for four years.Vesteda – Property investor Vesteda has named Pieter Knauff as director for acquisitions. He will be responsible for Vesteda’s portfolio strategy. Knauff succeeds Nico Mol, who is to focus on external relations and running project developments within acquisitions. Knauff has been senior salesman at Vesteda since 1 January 2015. Previously, he worked at property broker Van Herk Group, where has was chief executive for the last two years.AFM – Willemijn van Dolen has started as member of the supervisory board (RvC) of financial markets watchdog AFM. Van Dolen is a professor of marketing at Amsterdam University, specialising in online consumer communication, social and responsible investment and social media. She has also expertise on big data, fintech and behavioural economics. Van Dolen has been appointed for a four-year period.Kempen Capital Management – Kornelis Buursma has joined the asset manager as director of business development. He will be responsible for extending fiduciary asset management activities for institutional investors in the Netherlands. Buursma has held similar positions at NN IP, PGGM Investments and ING REIM. He started his career at ING REIM as a research analyst in 2002.Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) – Charles Anniss has been hired as portfolio manager for the Swiss bank, joining the European equities team to look after small and mid-caps. He joins, from M&G Investments, where he was a director and fund manager in the equities team. UBS Asset Management – Fekko Ebbens has been appointed head of the asset manager’s institutional business for the EMEA, adding this position to his role as market head for Benelux and Denmark. He has been with the Swiss asset manager since 2006, having previously been at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch and Van Lanscot Bankiers.
Kempen Capital Management, Sarona Asset Management, Putnam Investments, Honeybee Capital, Fidelity Investments, Hermes EOS, BlueBay Asset Management, UN Joint Staff Pension FundKempen – Kempen Capital Management has appointed Narina Mnatsakanian as director of impact and responsible investment as of 1 June, tasked with further shaping Kempen’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitment. Mnatsakanian has worked for the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), where she helped developing best practices and building local networks for PRI investors. She also supported PRI signatories integrating ESG in their investment processes.Mnatsakanian joins from Sarona Asset Management, a private equity boutique focusing on impact investment in emerging markets, where she was responsible for investor relations, impact management, and ESG. She has also worked at the €115bn asset manager MN and accountancy firms KPMG and EY.Putnam Investments – The $160bn (€146bn) asset manager has appointed Katherine Collins to the newly created role of head of sustainable investing. She will report directly to Aaron Cooper, Putnam’s chief investment officer for equities. Collins was previously CEO of Honeybee Capital, a research firm focused on ESG issues that she founded in 2008. Before that she worked for Fidelity Management and Research Company for 18 years. Collins will lead a new sustainable investing team that will include Stephanie Henderson, a fundamental analyst who has joined the firm from Fidelity Investments, and Alexander Rickson, “a Putnam veteran who will be providing quantitative analysis”, the company said.Hermes – Emma Hunt, co-head of Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management’s stewardship team, is leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities. Hans-Christoph Hirt, who shared the role with Hunt, has become sole head of Hermes EOS.Hunt joined Hermes EOS in September 2015 as director of strategic client management and business development, and reported to Colin Melvin, the then-chief executive of Hermes EOS. Before joining Hermes, Hunt was global co-head of sustainable and responsible investment at Towers Watson. Hermes thanked Hunt for her contribution and wished her well for the future.BlueBay Asset Management – Erich Gerth this week started his new role as CEO of the specialist fixed income manager. He succeeds Alex Khein, who will stay on as an adviser until the end of the year. Gerth joined the firm in 2012 as global head of business development. He was previously chief executive of Aviva Investors’ Asian business, and was CEO at Janus Capital International – the international arm of the US asset manager – for six years until 2009.UN Joint Staff Pension Fund – Karl-Ludwig Soll has returned to the United Nations’ $54bn staff pension fund as chief financial officer (CFO). He served as the fund’s first CFO between 2012 and 2014, before leaving to become deputy director of finance for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees.
NLB, Slovenia’s largest international financial group, has agreed to sell 100% of its Macedonian pension business to Slovenian insurer and pensions provider Sava Re.The sale of NLB Nov penziski fond is subject to regulatory approval.NLB Nov penziski fond is one of the two pension fund companies, both Slovenian, licensed as of 2005 to offer mandatory and voluntary pension funds in Macedonia, with 51% of the shares owned by Ljubljana-based Nova Ljubljanska Banka, and the remainder by the group’s Macedonian subsidiary NLB Banka Skopje.NLB’s mandatory and voluntary Macedonian funds have more than €430m in assets under management, and a market share of around 46%. On NLB’s website, Blaž Brodnjak, president of the management board, said: “Our exit from the ownership of the NLB Nov penziski fond does not in any way imply that we are exiting the Republic of Macedonia.“On the contrary, NLB Banka Skopje remains a strategic member of the NLB Group, where we see a lot of potential for upgrading business both in the retail as well as corporate sector.”Antonio Argir, president of the management board of NLB Banka AD Skopje, added that his bank would continue to collaborate with the new owner after the sale through its sales channels.For Sava Re, the acquisition expands its financial operations in Macedonia beyond its existing insurance businesses.For state-owned NLB the sale of its Macedonian pensions business, which was announced this March, is part of a series of non-core asset disposals ahead of its privatisation as agreed earlier with the European Commission.The deal was struck in return for the EC approving state aid to NLB in 2013.In June the Slovenian government abandoned an IPO for 50% of the bank, initially set for the end of this year, following a lower than expected valuation, and has now requested postponing the sale until the end of 2020.
VER, the Finnish state pension fund, has agreed to acquire a 10% stake in Elenia Oy, Finland’s second largest power distribution system operator, and Elenia Lämpö Oy, Finland’s ninth largest district heating network.VER’s consortium partners are Allianz Capital Partners, and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, who each take a 45% share, for an undisclosed sum.The power companies are currently owned by pension insurer Ilmarinen, GS Infrastructure Partners and 3i.Maarit Säynevirta, head of alternative lnvestments at VER, said: “We are looking at core infrastructure assets producing a cash flow and also to protect against inflation.” She told IPE that over 2018, VER intended to increase its infrastructure fund investments to 2% of assets.At 30 September 2017, infrastructure funds made up 1.3% of VER’s overall €19.4bn portfolio, with a further direct investment that forms part of the non-listed equity allocation. Listed equities made up 42.7% of the portfolio, with 3.6% in other equities. Liquid fixed income totalled 41.4%, with a further 1.1% in other fixed income. Maarit Säynevirta, head of alternative investments at VERHedge funds amounted to 3.7%, with real estate funds at 2.9%.VER’s asset allocation is subject to Ministry of Finance guidelines, which limit equities to 55% of the portfolio, while fixed income must account for at least 35%. Other investments may not exceed 12% of assets. Over the calendar year 2016, infrastructure was the strongest-performing asset class in VER’s portfolio, with a 13.8% return.Over the nine months to 30 September this year equities generally performed better, but infrastructure still returned 8.3% over that period, thanks to “healthy dividends and successful exits,” according to the pension fund. The overall return was 5.2%.VER’s strategy is to invest in infrastructure indirectly through funds, and also directly, especially in Finland, said Säynevirta. Its indirect investments include a holding in Fingrid, Finland’s transmission system operator.With regard to Elenia, Säynevirta said the company – a top-tier organisation in the industry – would be empowered by strong, long-term owners who would support the company’s long-term investment programme. The focus would be on weather-proofing the distribution of electricity and developing quality services to customers.Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2018.
There were more than 3.2 million indices available globally at the end of June 2017, according to research from the Index Industry Association (IIA).Of these, roughly 95% were equity-based indices, meaning there were more than 70 times as many equity benchmarks available for investors than there were listed equities to invest in.At the end of 2016, the World Bank estimated there were 43,192 listed companies globally.All the indices in the research were calculated by just 14 firms – all members of the IIA. Rick Redding, CEO of the IIA, said: “Often the discussion revolves around products, but with approximately 5,300 exchange-traded funds [ETFs] worldwide, the results show that benchmarking is clearly the predominant use for indices around the world. How exchange-trade fund assets have grownSource: ETFGI… And for hedge fundsMeanwhile, hedge fund industry assets also hit a record level in 2017, reaching $3.2trn at the end of December, according to data company HFR.In the fourth quarter investors put $6.9bn of new money into hedge funds, the highest level of quarterly inflows since the second quarter of 2015, HFR said. Total inflows for 2017 totalled $9.8bn.Last year was also the first since 2003 in which the hedge fund sector had made aggregate gains every month. HFR’s Fund Weighted Composite Index of hedge funds gained 8.7% for the year, the best calendar year return since 2013.The most popular hedge fund style was multi-strategy, HFR reported, attracting $10bn of new money in 2017. Source: Index Industry Association“With over 3m indices available, asset managers and investors want choices when choosing a benchmark that best represents their portfolio and the underlying market.”Global indices made up the biggest group of equity benchmarks, representing 29% of the equity total. In fixed income, American benchmarks made up the biggest group with a third (33%) of indices.Redding added that indices focusing on environmental, social and governance issues and smart beta accounted for just 6% of benchmarks, “despite recent attention”.A record year for ETFs…European-domiciled ETFs experienced record inflows of $110bn (€89.7bn) in 2017, according to State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).The majority of new money ($73bn) came into equity products, the group said. Within this, emerging markets ETFs proved popular as they posted average returns of 37%.European equity indices proved the most popular during the year, gaining more than $16bn. In contrast, UK equity flows were “meagre”, SSGA said.In fixed income, emerging market debt ETFs dominated inflows with $9bn added during the year.Claire Perryman, UK head of SPDR ETF at SSGA, said the group expected investors’ appetite for emerging markets to continue in 2018.“Additionally, at the end of last year, US tax reforms had a major effect on the market and we expect to see further interest in sector strategies over the coming months,” she added.According to research firm ETFGI, global ETF assets under management grew by more than $1.2trn during 2017, reaching $4.66trn in total at the end of December.In Europe, assets reached $762bn at the end of 2017.
British Airways Pension Trustees – The trustee company for British Airways’ £25.4bn pension arrangements has appointed Robert Talbut as an independent adviser. Talbut was chief investment officer at Royal London Asset Management for 10 years until 2014, since when he has taken up a number of trustee and non-executive roles, including chairman of EFG Asset Management.Talbut was previously CIO at insurance company Royal Sun Alliance, and has chaired committees for the Association of British Insurers and the Investment Association. He is also a member of institutional investor think tank the 300 Club.APG – The Netherlands’ largest pension manager has appointed Jaap van Manen as chairman of its supervisory board (RvT) for a four-year term as of 1 January. He succeeds Bart Le Blanc , who completed his term in July.Van Manen is a partner at Strategic Management Center, a consultancy that provides advice to senior company executives. He also chairs the monitoring committee of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code as well as the Good Governance Committee of the Association of Universities. Among other positions, Van Manen is also emeritus professor for corporate governance at Groningen University. Until 1 October, he was vice-chair of the RvT of Dutch regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).APG’s RvT comprises Pieter Jongstra (vice chair), Roger van Boxtel, Maes van Lanschot, Edit Snoeij, Dick van Well and Claudia Zuiderwijk.Financial Reporting Council – Carlota Garcia Manus, senior investment stewardship analyst at the Church Commissioners for England, has been appointed one of the 15 members of the beleaguered UK accounting watchdog’s new Future of Corporate Reporting Advisory Group.Roland Bosch, corporate engagement chief at Hermes Investment Management, and Karin Ri, responsible investment director at Asset Management One International, are among the other investor representatives on the group. Pensioenfonds Sabic – Pascal Wolters is the new independent chair of the €2.6bn Dutch pension fund Sabic. Currently, he is trustee at the €206bn healthcare scheme PFZW and the €4bn public transport scheme SPOV.Between 1998 and 2014 he held various positions in asset management, pensions and board support at the civil service scheme ABP and its asset manager APG. The pension fund said that it had opted for an independent chair, as the job was difficult to combine with a regular position at the company.MFS Investment Management – Ted Maloney will be MFS’ new chief investment officer from 1 January 2019, succeeding Michael Roberge, who will focus on his role as CEO.Maloney has worked at MFS since 2005 when he joined as an equity research analyst. He became director of US equity research in 2011 and subsequently worked as a fund manager.“Ted brings extensive experience to the role, having held multiple investment research positions at the firm during his tenure. He has worked across the equity, fixed income and quantitative groups to build strong, collaborative relationships that will serve him well as CIO,” said Roberge.FundRock/AMF – Xavier Parain is to leave the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French financial markets regulator, to join the Luxembourg-based third party fund management services company as CEO with effect from 7 January.Parain worked for AMF for seven years, and was most recently its deputy secretary general in charge of the asset management directorate. Before joining AMF Parain worked in the banking and asset management sectors. He served as the CEO of FundLogic, Morgan Stanley’s funds and hedge funds distribution platform, and president of Merrill Lynch Invest, Merrill Lynch’s asset management firm specialising in structured funds.Laurent Bouyoux, president and founding partner at FundRock’s shareholder, BlackFin Capital Partners, said Parain’s experience at European regulatory bodies would directly benefit FundRock’s clients, “helping them to navigate through a complex and constantly evolving regulatory context”. Pantheon – The private markets specialist has appointed Robin Bailey as chief operating officer. He joined Pantheon in 2010 and has been chief financial officer since 2015. In his new role he will have responsibility for the company’s finance, operations, tax and technology teams.Bailey’s appointment is one of a number of internal promotions, including Imogen Richards, global head of investment structuring and strategy, and Kevin Dunwoodie, on the US-based secondaries investment team, who have been made partners.Stone Harbor Investment Partners – Credit specialist manager Stone Harbor has promoted Jim Craige as co-CIO alongside Peter Wilby. He will continue as the company’s head of emerging markets. The pair have worked together as fund managers since 1992, Stone Harbor said.In addition, Marianne Rossi and William Perry have been appointed co-heads of Stone Harbor’s global high yield team, and co-managers have been added to the firm’s US and European high yield strategies, as well as its bank loans strategy.NN IP – The €197bn Dutch asset manager NN Investment Partners has appointed Bronka Rzepkowski as head of investment strategy for its nine-strong multi-asset team of macroeconomists, strategists and data scientists, based in the Hague. She will report to Ewout van Schaick, head of multi-asset.Rzepkowski started her career as an economist at the Banque de France and subsequently worked as a senior economist at the European Central Bank, and as lead global strategist at London-based Oxford Economics. Most recently, she was a member of Robeco’s global macro fixed income team. Van Schaick said the team planned to focus on acquiring new data sources and increasing research into behavioural signs and artificial intelligence.Aberdeen Standard – Merijn Vegter has been appointed as director of business development at Aberdeen Standard Investments in Amsterdam. He joins from Robeco, where he worked for 12 years in a number of roles, including head of institutional account management and most recently institutional sales and relationship manager. Vegter started his career at ING Investment Management (now NN IP) in 2002.UK Pensions Ombudsman – Anthony Arter has been reappointed as head of the UK’s Pensions Ombudsman for a further two years, until July 2021. He has held the post since May 2015 and is a former head of pensions at law firm Eversheds.The Ombudsman is appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions and is responsible for investigating disputes and complaints related to personal and occupational pension schemes as well as complaints and issues relating to the Pension Protection Fund.Dynamic Credit Group – Giles Andrew is to join Dynamic Credit Group (DCG) as chair of its supervisory board. DCG comprises the €10.5bn fixed income asset manager and direct lending firm Dynamic Credit and investor services platform LoanClear, and has offices in Amsterdam, New York and Jakarta. Andrew is co-founder of Zopa, a peer-to-peer lending platform.Amundi – Clarisse Djabbari has been appointed head of strategy and development for Amundi’s exchange-traded fund (ETF), indexing and smart beta business. She was previously deputy CEO of Lyxor Asset Management’s ETF business, having joined the asset manager in 2010 from Société Générale’s investment bank. At Amundi Djabbari will report to Fannie Wurtz, managing director of Amundi’s ETF, indexing and smart beta. Unilever APF, British Airways Pension Trustees, APG, FRC, Pensioenfonds Sabic, MFS Investment Management, FundRock, AMF, Pantheon, Stone Harbor Investment Partners, NN Investment Partners, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Pensions Ombudsman, Dynamic Credit Group, AmundiUnilever APF – Frans Prins has been named independent chairman of Unilever’s Dutch general pension fund (APF), which governs the company’s Dutch pension funds Progress and Forward. He is to succeed Ruud Hommes.Currently, Prins is chair of the supervisory board of the staff pension fund of asset manager APG, chair of the Norit Pensioenfonds – currently in liquidation – and adviser to the monitoring committee of the Netherlands’ pension fund code.Prins has held executive positions at several large pension funds, including PWRI, PMT and PGGM, as well as the Association of Company Pension Funds, now part of the Pensions Federation. The appointment of Prins is subject to regulatory approval.