People Moves: Santander Appoints UK Pensions Chief [updated]

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Santander, ATP Real Estate, AP1, The Carlyle Group, PineBridge Investments, PIMCO, Majedie, Link Asset Services, Law Debenture, Scottish Widows, LGIM, Janus Henderson, Solactive

SantanderLee Sullivan has joined Santander UK as its new head of group pensions, effective 1 May. He is responsible for running the trustee executive function for the bank’s £11.5bn (€13.3bn) UK pension scheme.

Sullivan was previously group pensions manager at BNP Paribas, a role he held for more than six years. He replaces Stuart Dunn, who has left Santander to “pursue a new opportunity”, according to the bank.


ATP Real EstatePeter Bruun has been appointed as the new head of ESG for Denmark’s largest pension fund’s property subsidiary ATP Real Estate.

A spokeswoman for the real estate arm confirmed that this was a newly-created role. ATP Real Estate chief executive Martin Vang Hansen said Bruun would bring the firm’s ESG work to a new strategic level.

Bruun will join the company from his current role as head of communication and corporate social responsibility at state investment vehicle the Danish Growth Fund.


AP1Magdalena Håkansson has been appointed as the new head of sustainable value creation for Sweden’s AP1. The Swedish national pension fund said it hired her in order to add valuable expertise and experience at a stage when the requirements for the AP funds as responsible investors and owners were being tightened.

Håkansson – who will work across AP1’s investment strategies and focus on the integration of ESG analysis and active ownership – most recently worked for economic research company MSCI within ESG research. Prior to this, she worked for ESG consultant GES International.


The Carlyle Group – Former PGGM alternatives chief Ruulke Bagijn has been promoted to head of the Carlyle Group’s investment solutions team, overseeing more than $45bn (€40bn) in private equity and real estate assets across the company’s AlpInvest and Metropolitan subsidiaries. She replaces Lauren Dillard.

Bagijn left PGGM in 2016 after seven years leading its private equity and private markets teams. She spent just over a year at AXA Investment Managers–Real Assets as global head of real assets private equity, before moving to AlpInvest in 2017.

In addition, Erica Herberg has been named chief financial officer for the investment solutions team at Carlyle, having previously held the same role within its credit team. She replaces Paul de Klerk, a co-founder of AlpInvest.


PineBridge Investments – The $93.4bn US investment house has appointed Mick Sweeney as CEO of its Irish business. At PineBridge Investments Ireland, Sweeney will oversee local client relationships and business development as well as being PineBridge’s main contact with local regulator the Central Bank of Ireland.

Sweeney was previously CEO of Bank of Ireland Wealth Management and acted as interim CEO of its New Ireland Assurance unit. He has also led its asset management and global markets businesses. 


PIMCORichard Thaler, Nobel prize-winning economist and a renowned expert in behavioural science and economics, has joined PIMCO as a senior adviser on retirement and behavioural economics.

In a statement, PIMCO said Thaler would help the US fixed income giant to “better understand human behaviour and how it impacts decision making, including how individuals make decisions in saving for and spending during retirement”.

“PIMCO aims to use these insights to help create investment solutions which better serve a wide variety of client needs, both in the accumulation of assets to prepare for retirement, and strategies for winding down those assets in a thoughtful way that accommodates the inevitable uncertainties facing retirees,” it added.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where Thaler is a professor.


Majedie Asset Management – The UK-based specialist equity manager has hired Cindy Rose to the newly created role of head of responsible capitalism. She will join in August from Aberdeen Standard Investments where she was head of ESG, clients and products. Rose was previously co-head of ESG and stewardship at Aberdeen Asset Management, prior to its merger with Standard Life.

Majedie, which runs £12bn, said Rose would “lead and further develop” the company’s approach to ESG. It is a signatory to the PRI and the UK Financial Reporting Council’s Stewardship Code.

Majedie CEO Rob Harris said: “Majedie’s holistic and integrated approach means we do not separate ESG from financial performance indicators. ESG issues have financial implications; they do not exist in a vacuum.

“A longer-term perspective that is fair to employees, shareholders, customers, regulators and the wider community is more sustainable and eventually more valuable to shareholders.”


Link Asset Services – The UK-based fund services provider has named Karl Midl as managing director of its Link Fund Solutions (LFS) business, which provides back-office services for investment companies and asset managers – including two of the newly formed Local Government Pension Scheme asset pools.

Midl replaces Peter Hugh-Smith, who has led LFS – previously Capita Asset Services until 2017 – as managing director since 2014. Midl has worked at Link for 24 years and has been on the LFS board since 2002, and has also worked as operations director and programme director for LFS.

In addition, Link has appointed Andrew Lelliott as managing director of Link Fund Administration and Link Financial Investments, which provide administration and related services for pooled investment funds. Lelliott joined in 2018 after a 10-year spell working for Northern Trust’s transfer agency business, and has also worked for IFDS and Schroders in investor services roles.


Law Debenture – The UK independent trustee company has hired Alan Baker from Mercer as a trustee director. At Mercer he was head of defined benefit (DB) solutions and chair of the consultancy company’s DB policy group. He also helped develop Mercer’s fiduciary management offering, and its longevity hedging service for smaller UK schemes.

Michael Chatterton, managing director of LawDeb Pension Trustees, said Baker brought “an in-depth understanding of both DB and [defined contribution] pensions” to the role.

He added: “Alan’s understanding and extensive experience of designing and implementing technology will be of huge value to LawDeb’s clients who are seeking innovative and efficient ways to use technology to manage schemes and communicate with members.”


Scottish WidowsCiaran Barr, former investment director at the Railways Pension Scheme (Railpen), has joined the independent governance committee (IGC) overseeing Scottish Widows’ UK workplace pension offering.

Before joining Railpen Barr worked as a senior economist at the Bank of England, and was also Deutsche Bank’s chief UK economist and senior international economist. He replaces John Howard, a former TV and radio presenter and now non-executive director with several financial services organisations. 

Babloo Ramamurthy, independent chairman of the Scottish Widows IGC, said Barr was “highly experienced in governance, strategic investment, pension scheme design and best practice fund design”. Ramamurthy previously worked with Barr at Railpen, where he is chair of the board of its parent company RPMI.


Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) – LGIM has named three people to the board of its Irish subsidiary, which was granted new permissions last year to aid its preparations for Brexit.

Lee Toms, LGIM’s global head of investment operations, Volker Kurr, head of the company’s German branch and head of European institutional distribution, and John Craven, LGIM Europe’s head of finance, have been elected to the board of directors with immediate effect.


Janus Henderson Investors – The $357bn asset manager has hired Suzanne Cain as global head of distribution. She will join on 20 May and will be tasked with overseeing the firm’s global sales and product strategy for institutional and retail business. 

Cain was previously global head of institutional clients at iShares, BlackRock’s exchange-traded fund business. She has also held senior roles at Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.


SolactiveChristian Grabbe, chief operating officer at German index provider Solactive, is to exit after five years with the firm. He will leave “after ensuring a smooth transition”, Solactive said.

In a statement, the company said Grabbe had “played a key role” in its international expansion. Solactive has grown from 20 employees to more than 200 in five years, and now has offices in Canada and Hong Kong as well as Germany.

Grabbe’s responsibilities will be split between the remaining members of Solactive’s board: CRO Christian Vollmuth, chief indexing officer Dirk Urmoneit, and CEO Steffen Scheuble.