Legal & General – L&G’s bulk annuity and longevity insurance business has appointed John Towner in the new role of head of origination. He joins from Redington, where he advised both pension trustee boards and corporate sponsors on their investment, funding and risk-management strategies. Before then, he worked at Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank.Mercer – Uwe Buchem has been named business leader for retirement at the consultancy’s German, Austrian and Swiss (DACH) business. He is replacing Mercer’s regional chief executive Achim Lüder, who stepped down from the role to focus on his other responsibilities. Buchem joined Mercer in 2002 and, in 2004, was promoted to market leader for Germany for health and benefits. He began his career at insurance group Debeka and internet insurance business Censio.Monument Group – The investment fund placement agent has appointed Karl Adam as director in the London office. He will have investor coverage responsibility for German-speaking Europe and some UK-based investors, focusing on building relationships with new institutional investors and general partners in the region. He joins from Citi Private Bank, where he was vice-president. Aviva Investors – Louise Kay has been appointed global head of sales. She will be responsible for leading global sales efforts across institutional and wholesale, including global consultants. Kay has held senior roles at Standard Life Investments and Aegon Asset Management UK.KNEIP – Keith Dingwall has been appointed to the new role of head of new business. Before joining KNEIP, he worked for 13 years at State Street Bank and International Financial Data Services in Luxembourg. Before then, he worked for a decade in JP Morgan Asset Management’s operations in the UK and Luxembourg.Pemberton – The independent asset management group, backed by Legal & General and focused on private debt and direct lending, has appointed Jürgen Breuer to head its operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Breuer previously established and led leverage and acquisition finance businesses for Dresdner Bank and West LB in Germany.Comgest – Arnaud Cosserat has been appointed CIO, succeeding Vincent Strauss, who will remain chief executive at the asset manager. Cosserat joined Comgest in 1996 as a portfolio manager covering European equities. He has spent the past two years in the position of deputy CIO.Kames Capital – Mark Benbow has been appointed to the fixed income team as an investment analyst. He joins from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, where he was an analyst on the global equities team.Invesco PowerShares – Michael Huber has been appointed to the newly created role of business development director for Germany and Austria. Previously, he covered institutional clients for Luxembourg-based asset manager Assenagon. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs Group. ING Investment Management, Cardano Risk Management, Schroders, KAS Bank, Aegon Asset Management, Legal & General, Redington, Mercer, Monument Group, Aviva Investors, KNEIP, Pemberton, Comgest, Kames Capital, Invesco PowerSharesING Investment Management – Bart Oldenkamp has been appointed to the Integrated Client Solutions team at ING IM, soon to become NN Investment Partners. The manager said Oldenkamp would focus on strategic business development, working with institutional clients as well as the investment management teams to “optimise” ING IM’s solutions offering. He joins from Cardano Risk Management, a specialist risk and investment management boutique based in the Netherlands and the UK, where he was a member of the management board. Before then, he held various positions at ABN Amro Asset Management in Amsterdam and Chicago.Schroders – Theo van der Meer has been appointed senior adviser in the Netherlands. He will focus on providing specific pension scheme guidance and governance to Schroders’ institutional clients in the region. Prior to joining Schroders, he held the position of managing director within global distribution at Barclays in London. He has also held senior roles at Fidelity, Vanguard, NIB Capital, Robeco and AMRO Bank.KAS Bank – The custodian has appointed Alexander van Ittersum as market manager for the pension fund markets in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. His responsibility is to increase activities in core markets by identifying market trends and customer needs, and translating them into new products. Before joining KAS, Van Ittersum worked at Aegon for six years, initially as product development manager with Aegon Global Pensions’ cross-border asset pooling, and later as proposition manager with Aegon Asset Management. Before joining Aegon, he was product manager for Robeco and relationship manager at Euronext.
Because Sanoma is also active in Belgium, the working group – assisted by consultancy Focus Orange – will also assess whether a cross-border pension plan would improve its participants’ pension prospects.Several companies have opted recently to relocate their Dutch pension funds to Belgium.The third possible alternative would be to place pension rights with an insurer, which, unlike with an APF, would rule out rights cuts. The working group concluded, however, that transferring all pensions to an insurer would be too costly and limit the potential for indexation.It said it was aiming to complete its survey in the second quarter, and that it wanted to consult market players such as insurers during the next phase of its investigation.The scheme’s board said it wanted to make a final choice this autumn, so as to be able to switch to new arrangements quickly – possibly as soon as next year.Since January, Sanoma’s employees have been accruing their pension in a collective defined contribution plan with the €21.5bn Pensioenfonds PGB. The €600m Dutch pension fund of publishing company Sanoma is considering joining an APF general pension vehicle, relocating to Belgium or exploring other possible options for workers and pensioners.On its website, the pension fund, closed to new entrants on 1 January, said a working group would look further into the three remaining options.The scheme’s board said it did not intend to establish its own APF, preferring to join an existing one, either in a separated compartment or in a section combine with other schemes with a similar asset mix, risk attitude or indexation target.Joining an APF, however, would be likely to reduce costs, it said, while the scheme’s assets would be ring-fenced.