Russell Investments; Mercer; Aviva Investors; Hermes; BlackRock; Aegon UK; Newport Group; Xafinity Consulting; ETF Securities.
Russell Investments has appointed Darren Spencer (pictured) as director of global alternative investments in its institutional consulting group. Based in New York, Spencer will be responsible for directing the development and implementation of alternative investment strategies for Russell's consulting clients in North America (Global Pensions: 20 January 2011).
Mercer has appointed Guy Thorburn as business leader for retirement, risk and finance consulting for Australia/New Zealand. He succeeds Tim Jenkins, who has led the business for seven years while also acting as head of Mercer's Asia Pacific business for three years. Jenkins will continue in the latter role from his base in Sydney. (Global Pensions: 20 January 2011).
Aviva Investors has appointed Tove Bångstad to the newly created role of business development director in Sweden. Starting on 1 February, Bangstad will be responsible for growing business and client relationships in the Nordic market and will report to Véronique Cherret, director and head of institutional channel for UK and Europe. Bångstad joins from SEB Wealth Management where she was head of institutional clients for Sweden and head of mutual funds.
Hermes has appointed Simon Cartwright as director of UK institutional and global consultants and Jill Renwick as director of business development. Based in London, Cartwright will develop consultant relationships, new business and distribution. He will report to global head of business development Chris Goudie. He joins from AXA Investment Managers where he was global head of consultant relations.
Renwick joins from Fidelity International, where she was director for the EMEA Institutional Group and responsible for new business and client relationships. Her new role at Hermes will entail responsibility of growing new business initiatives in the UK and managing consultant relationships, reporting directly to Cartwright.
BlackRock head of defined contribution sales Emma Douglas has left the firm for Mercer where she will help launch and head up the consultant's corporate wrap offering (Global Pensions: 21 January 2011).
Heads of pension and industry development Rachel Vahey and Peter Williams are to leave Aegon UK as the company continues a restructuring programme designed to cut operating costs by 25% by the end of the year. Their exits add to that of head of corporate affairs Francis McGee, who will leave at the end of January after announcing his departure in September last year (Global Pensions: 17 January 2011).
Frank Tighe has joined the Newport Group as regional director where he will promote the firm's retirement plan administration and investment services to third-party intermediaries. He will report to vice president of retirement services George Sutherland. He comes across from Mercer where he served as principal focusing on large ERISA and non-ERISA retirement plans working with attorneys, CPAs, internal resources, retirement consultants, and plan sponsors. Before this, he was vice president at Wachovia's retirement plan services
Xafinity Consulting has named Bill Holmes as head of the expanded UK investment consulting practice. The firm is also recruiting investment consultants and support staff in Leeds and Reading following its recent expansion. Holmes joined Xafinity in 1993; since then he headed the Sheffield office and established the investment practice in Leeds. He has provided actuarial and investment consultancy to pension schemes for nearly twenty-five years.
Xafinity director Lyndon Jones commented: "Bill has an excellent relationship with clients and colleagues and his expertise and experience make him well placed to lead our Investment practice going forward. We are operating in a challenging environment and Bill's plans for growing the practice are exciting."
Isabell Mössler has been hired as co-head of European sales, ETF securities marketing at ETF Securities. She replaces Tim Harvey who is focusing on North American sales based in New York. Alongside co-head Scott Thompson, Mössler will manage sales of exchange traded commodities, exchange traded currencies and exchanged traded funds across the region. She will also manage the sales strategy and develop the business across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Nordics and Iberia. She will report to Mark Weeks, partner at the firm. Previously, she worked for iShares, where she was a team leader within the European sales division.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now
MPs failed to place legislation into the Financial Guidance and Claims bill that would have made pension guidance default, which Just Group director Stephen Lowe said left a "bitter taste".
Aegon has called for the government to double the tax exemption on employer-arranged pension advice, up from £500 to £1,000.
Institutional investor confidence in Europe rose by 8.9 points in April with each region showing growing appetite for risk, according to State Street Global Exchange.