PIMCO, Towers Watson, Tesco Pension Investment, Association of Investment Companies, Barnett Waddingham, Insight Investment, Investec Asset Management, Carmignac Gestion Group, General Atlantic, KNEIP, Equiniti, Alliance Trust InvestmentsPIMCO – Chief executive and co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian has stepped down and will leave the company in mid-March. No reasons were given for his departure. Douglas Hodge, managing director and COO, will take over as chief executive. Andrew Balls, a managing director of the London office, and Daniel Ivascyn, a managing director at the Newport Beach office, will serve as his deputies. PIMCO’s founder William Gross will continue as CIO. Craig Dawson, a managing director and current head of PIMCO Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, will become head of strategic business management.Towers Watson – Jane Murray has been appointed managing director of Technology and Administration Solutions (TAS). She was formerly UK client services director and joined Towers Watson – then Watson Wyatt – in April 1996. As part of other structural changes at the consultancy, Richard Sard is now head of client services for TAS, while Colin Fowler has been appointed as TAS professional excellence leader for the EMEA.Tesco Pension Investment – David Brickman has joined the supermarket’s pension manager, in charge of credit. He will report to Jon Cunliffe, head of fixed income, according to a Tesco spokesperson. Brickman most recently worked at Aerion Fund Management and was head of European credit strategy at Lehman Brothers for four years prior to the bank’s collapse in 2008. Before joining the investment bank, he spent nearly three years at BNP Paribas. Association of Investment Companies (AIC) – Simon Crinage, managing director and head of investment trusts at JP Morgan Asset Management, and Harry Morgan, head of private investment management at Thomas Miller Investment, have been appointed to the board. David Barron and Gill Nott have retired following 10 years of service each. Peter Arthur and David Thorp have been re-elected and remain deputy chairmen, along with Chris Russell.Barnett Waddingham – Paul Latimer has been appointed head of pension administration at the UK-based consultancy. He succeeds fellow partner Nuala Hedges, who stepped down from the position at the end of 2013. Latimer, who has worked at Barnett Waddingham for 27 years, was promoted to partner in 2004. He is also currently chairman and membership secretary of the NAPF North London group.Insight Investment – Tarik Ben-Saud has been appointed head of Asset Solutions in a newly created position. Ben-Saud previously worked for 15 years at BlackRock and predecessor firm Barclays Global Investors as head of LDI and client strategy. Before then, he managed the index equity strategy and derivatives teams.Investec Asset Management – Marco Orsi has been appointed Italian sales director, supporting the company’s expansion in both the institutional and adviser channels. He joins from Allianz Global Investors, where he was head of retail distribution for Italy. Before then, he held a similar role for Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus at BNP Paribas Asset Management.Carmignac Gestion Group – Michael Hulme has joined as a commodity equities fund manager, assuming control of the €670m Carmignac Commodities fund. He takes over from David Field, who has taken a sabbatical. Before joining Carmignac Gestion, Hulme managed the Lombard Odier Global Energy fund.General Atlantic – Jan-Michiel Hessels, former chairman of NYSE Euronext, has joined the firm as a special adviser in Europe based in the Netherlands. Hessels currently sits on the board at IntercontinentalExchange Group and on the supervisory board at Royal Boskalis Westminster.KNEIP – The service provider for the production and disclosure of legal, regulatory and contractual information for the fund industry has appointed Stephanie Noel as head of operations. She joined KNEIP in 2001 as a client service coordinator.Equiniti – Suzie Rudzitis has been appointed managing director of Equiniti Pension Services. She succeeds Paul Bingham, who has stepped down after a decade in the role. Rudzitis joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where she was COO of the Managed Legal Services division.Alliance Trust Investments – Dan Daldry has been appointed co-manager of the Dynamic Bond and Monthly Income Bond funds, while Kenny Watson will assume a co-management role for the Sustainable Corporate Bond fund. Both joined Alliance Trust Investment’s fixed income team recently.
Detailhandel, the €18bn pension fund for the Dutch retail sector, is to issue loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are still struggling to get bank financing.According to local news daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), the loans – ranging from €250,000 to €1m – are to be issued through the SME Impuls Fund, which will be placed in a foundation managed by Utrecht-based financial service provider Finance Ideas Management.Neos Business Finance will provide credit ratings.Detailhandel has committed €40m to the venture but expects to increase the allocation to €100m next year, the FD said. The newspaper quoted André Snellen, a trustee, as saying that his pension fund was purely participating in the fund as an investor.He said Detailhandel, after a thorough assessment, had concluded the loans would be a healthy and sound investment, generating returns of 6-7%.According to Snellen, the idea behind the initiative is that other pension funds will also participate in the Impuls Fund.Finance Ideas Management’s Martine Vissers, who developed the fund, said a recent survey of the market had shown that Dutch SMEs chiefly require loans in the range €250,000 to €1m.She said the Impuls Fund’s approach would be simple and transparent, and that the loans would be available to almost any profitable company with more than two years under its belt and a turnover of more than €600,000.Vissers added that the fund would not charge commission and that interest charged for the SME loans would range between 8% and 12%.The SME Impuls Fund follows in the footsteps of a number of other initiatives, including the recently launched Nederlandse Investeringsinstelling, the NL Ondernemingsfonds and Qredits for smaller loans.The NL Ondernemingsfonds, launched in January, also focuses on Dutch pension funds but has yet to issue a loan.However, its loans are only available to companies with a turnover of more than €40m.
Risk-taking is the primary order of business at major hedge funds, and as investors put the Greek situation into perspective this week, the potential for near-terms losses on Greek positions appears to be part of the lumpy return profile many hedge funds generate as they search for big winners.Hedge funds are at the sharp point of the Greek spear.Many have bet that Greek politicians and EU technocrats will avoid a Grexit.Since late 2014, for example, Greenlight Capital, the fund managed by founder David Einhorn, has discussed Greece at several investment forums.The firm has reportedly been one of the largest investors in Greek bank stocks.In a conference call this spring, Einhorn indicated that the firm invested in Greek bank equity through warrants to minimise its cash exposure while preserving potentially significant upside participation.“There’s a wide range of possible outcomes there relating specifically to our position,” he said.“There’s a lot of leverage to the upside if the situation resolves favourably and the warrants go into the money.”A spokesman for the Greenlight hedge fund declined to comment on the firm’s Greek positions.While a Grexit is not inevitable, fundamental changes are taking place; the current crisis will reshape the Greek economic and political landscape, as well as the broader EU financial order.Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras may have pushed EU, German and IMF officials too far, says Don Steinbrugge, managing partner at alternatives consultancy Agecroft Partners.“It’s very, very sad for the Greek people,” he said.Greek equity and fixed income markets are going to have difficulty attracting capital, and while a buying opportunity could exist several months from now for long-term investors, adjustment to the financial situation will be difficult for Greek markets and citizens, he said.With the country having missed a €1.6bn payment to the IMF on Tuesday night, Greece is technically in default.Steinbrugge said: “You’ve got to take a fairly hard line. If you forgive Greece, there are going to be a lot of other countries that want to be forgiven also.”Traditional investors took this week’s breakdown in talks between the EU and Greece in stride.Jack Ablin, CIO at BMO Private Bank, said a Greek default would probably not trigger a global financial crisis.While Greece’s €250bn in debt “is nothing to sneeze at”, he said more than three-quarters of it was held by international bailout funds, with private investors holding only €38bn of Greek government bonds, down from €150bn following a write-down and debt swap in 2012.With debt talks in limbo until after Sunday’s referendum on creditors’ terms, Greece now looks likely to miss a much bigger, €3.5bn repayment to the European Central Bank due on 20 July, and ratings agency Fitch says it views a default on government debt held by private creditors as “probable”. While the outcome remains to be seen, Ablin said, “we have to suppose that, after reading the headlines for four years, the people owning such speculative debt are hedge funds comfortable that their bonds are not of the Procter & Gamble sleep-at-night variety”. Hedge funds that have bet on Greek government bonds and banks stocks look set to face some near-term losses, but, despite acute concerns at the start of the week, they say careful management of the risk of investing in the market may yet yield gains if Greece and the EU can agree a long-term solution to the fiscal crisis.Hedge funds have made forays into Greece for the last two years, seeking opportunities in situations carrying more risk than traditional investors accept.Third Point’s Dan Loeb started the Hellenic Recovery Fund in 2013, and Randy Smith, who runs Alden Global Capital, started a Greek fund in December 2014.John Paulson invested in Greek bank stocks, while Perry Capital and others reportedly purchased Greek debt.
The UK’s Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched its first asset-class fund, with the pooling of its founding investors’ equity holdings resulting in the number of external managers being whittled down to three as four from Lancashire County Pension Fund’s side were dropped. The new fund is a £5bn (€5.5bn) global equity fund, which comprises the pooled holdings of its main clients the Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA). The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has not added its holdings to the equity pool, as it has not yet formally joined the LPP, a spokesman at the partnership told IPE.Berkshire is to do so early next year. Around 40% of the Global Equity Fund comprises equities managed internally, with the remainder being managed by MFS Investment Management, Robeco and Magellan, according to a statement from LPP.As at 31 March, the £6bn LCPF had five external public equity managers – Baillie Gifford, Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), MFS, Morgan Stanley and Robeco – and two UCITS funds managed by AGF Investments and Magellan Financial Group.The LPFA, in turn, had some £2bn of exposures to public equities as at the end of August this year, with MFS responsible for around half that.It brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014; the in-house investments stood at £1bn before the pooling, IPE understands.This indicates that four external managers lost mandates as a result of the pooling, mainly from the LCPF’s side: Baillie Gifford, NGAM, Morgan Stanley and AGF.The LPFA brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014. The LPP spokesman said: “We have dropped some existing managers and given larger mandates to the three on the release whom we feel share our investment philosophy.”First in a seriesIts global equity fund is the first in a series of asset class funds that LPP Investments (LPPI), the FCA-approved operator of the Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS), intends to launch, according to LPP.The local government pension scheme organisation said it was planning to launch funds for fixed income, total return and property.Investments in more illiquid assets such as private equity, infrastructure and credit are being consolidated under special-purpose vehicles over the next six months, it added.The LPP said the new equities portfolio “provides a significant reduction in overall costs for each of the founding investors while also maintaining and improving expected investment outcomes”.The entry into force on 1 November of new UK investment regulations for local authority pension funds paved the way for the launch of the global equity fund, according to the LPP.Susan Martin, chief executive at the LPP, said: “Following our FCA and ACS approval, we have been waiting for the government to change the LGPS investment regulations. There are now no barriers to physically pooling our assets and launching the fund.”The LPP is one of the eight local government pension scheme pools that are at various stages of development in the UK.Like the London CIV, it pre-dates the government’s instruction for administering local authorities to pool pension scheme assets and is relatively far advanced.It obtained FCA approval in April 2016, at which point a spokesman had indicated to IPE that equities could be the first asset class where holdings would be pooled.The LPP sees itself as a pension services organisation and thus more than an asset pool.The venture also has a pensions administration company, LPP Administration.It does not yet have the £25bn in assets that the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government has set out as a goal for the LGPS asset pools, but it is confident about being able to attract further clients.
Swedish pension buffer fund AP1 produced a 9.3% return in 2016, with real estate and currency factors boosting results.However, the fund warned it would be hard to keep producing current levels of return given the AP funds’ mandatory fixed-income allocation.In its 2016 annual report, AP1 said its net investment income amounted to SEK27bn (€2.8bn) after expenses, equating to a 9.3% return — more than double 2015’s 4% return.Johan Magnusson, AP1’s chief executive, said: “The main contributions came from real estate as well as from allocation and foreign exchange.” Total assets grew to SEK310.5bn at the end of last year, from SEK290.2bn at the end of 2015.AP1 said it paid out SEK6.6bn to the state to help pay state pensions during the year.Over the last 10 years it said it made a real return of 4.3% annually after expenses, which meant it had beaten its target in both the short and long term.However, Magnusson said AP1 faced a challenge in maintaining this development and reaching the target of a real 4% return on a rolling 10-year basis.“This is due to several factors, such as the many uncertain market factors around the world as well as our relatively high percentage of fixed-income assets which are governed by the investment rules that apply to AP funds,” he said.In the annual report, Magnusson said AP1 has refocused strategically and organisationally in the last year with renewed energy following the shelving of reform plans.“Before the turn of the year 2015/2016 the plan to reform the AP Pension fund system was shut down, which meant that we could seriously and credibly dedicate ourselves to further development of our corporate culture and strategic direction,” he said.Real estate – which made up 12.5% of the total portfolio at the end of 2016 – was the most profitable asset class during the year, generating an 18.8% return.
Pooling pension fund assets into fewer, larger funds will not necessarily improve investment performance, according to the UK’s asset management trade body.In its response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) asset management review, the Investment Association (IA) said it was “not axiomatic that performance, and ultimately funding… will be improved” through greater consolidation.Citing data from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the IA noted that there was “no clear relationship between scheme size and funding level”.On a PPF basis, schemes with fewer than 100 members were 93% funded at the end of March 2016, according to the lifeboat fund’s annual report, while those with 1,000 to 5,000 members were 82% funded. Schemes with 10,000 members or more were on average 87% funded. The IA said in its report: “No evidence has been presented to suggest that increased scale alone will lead to better asset allocation decisions, a highly significant driver of returns for any investor.”Instead, the “key driver” of improvements for pension schemes was “enhanced investment governance”, the association argued.The UK’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) is undergoing a radical structural overhaul, involving the consolidation of assets into a small number of large asset pools. One of the most advanced, the London Collective Investment Vehicle, was cited by the FCA as an example of how pooling could help reduce costs.The IA agreed that consolidation would help improve competition for mandates, but argued that it was “unclear” whether the cost savings claimed by the LGPS pools could be replicated in other arrangements.“We think that some caution is justified here with a recognition that pooling on its own is unlikely to be a panacea,” the association said.“The LGPS experience is arguably a singular one due to the greater homogeneity in benefit structure (resulting in a degree of homogeneity in liability profiles) and the fact that the public sector ultimately underwrites these schemes.“The challenges of pooling corporate defined benefit schemes are likely to be greater, with different strengths of employer covenants and differences in benefit and liability structures.”The FCA’s review of the asset management sector leveled a number of criticisms at the industry, including a lack of transparency and “weak” price competition, particularly in the retail investment sector.In response, the Investment Association said the “direction of travel” for pricing was “not compatible, in our view, with a finding of weak price competition”. Following the introduction of new rules in 2013, known as the “retail distribution review”, which stripped out commission payments to distributors, the IA claimed pricing had become more transparent and competitive.
If the fund outperforms its benchmark after costs, the fee could rise to a maximum of 0.85%, while underperformance could reduce the fee to a minimum of 0.45%. Fidelity International has confirmed the pricing for the variable or “fulcrum” fee model to be rolled out across its equity business.The firm will introduce a new share class for 10 active equity funds in March next year, with a starting asset management charge 10 basis points cheaper than the current price.Depending on subsequent performance, measured on a rolling three-year basis, the fee will either rise or fall by a maximum of 20 basis points either side of the starting charge.Fidelity gave the example of a fund costing 0.75% a year at present. Under the new model, the ‘base level’ charge would be reduced to 0.65%. Fidelity’s fulcrum fee modelSource: Fidelity InternationalParas Anand, European CIO for equities, said: “For any client, the returns of active management are realised through long-term investing.“We believe that this new fee model allows us to demonstrate our value proposition whilst sharing the cost during periods of underperformance which all active managers, even the best, experience from time to time.“We hope, therefore, that this goes some way to incentivising clients to consider the value of active investing over the long term.”Fidelity is one of the few asset managers so far to have decided to pass on to clients the cost of third party investment research.In October, when the company first publicised its plans for the fulcrum fee model, it said the reduction in the annual management charge would be greater than the impact of research costs.In a statement today, Fidelity said this cost amounted to 0.0228% on top of the annual charge. The manager emphasised that the 10 basis point reduction was roughly four times as big as the effect of research costs.
“With total assets under management expected to exceed £1trn [€1.1trn] by 2025, defined contribution pension schemes have a vital role to play in long-term financing for UK growth and innovation,” Hammond said. UK defined contribution (DC) pension schemes are to be given opportunities to invest in start ups and small, growing domestic companies as part of a policy announced by the government yesterday. Philip Hammond, head of the UK’s treasury department, said in his annual budget report yesterday that some of the biggest DC funds had already pledged to work with the British Business Bank to invest in this sector of the economy.Aviva, HSBC, Legal & General, NEST, The People’s Pension and the Tesco Pension Fund have signed up to work with the British Business Bank “to explore options for pooled investment in patient capital”, Hammond said.He also stated that the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial services regulator, would launch a discussion paper later this year to explore how to put more pension money to work in “patient capital” funds. Source: UK parliamentPhilip Hammond presents the UK’s 2018 budget reportFurther consultations are planned for this year and next about updating rules and regulations to permit DC funds access to less liquid assets and ensure this can be done within the UK’s charge cap for DC default funds.The changes were part of a previously announced government plan to “unlock £20bn of finance for innovative high-growth firms”, Hammond said.Emma Douglas, head of DC at Legal & General Investment Management, praised the “significant development” in opening up illiquid asset markets for DC investors.She added: “As the DC market continues to grow this initiative will help level the playing field for DC and defined benefit investors, with DC scheme savers able to access potential returns from investment in ‘patient capital’ assets, which traditionally have not been available to them.”Nigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: “It’s essential that all types of pension schemes can access a wide range of investments to allow them to diversify in times of uncertainty and low interest rates.”Peaple added that the PLSA – the trade body for UK pension funds and providers – would publish guidance later this year on investing in patient capital assets.However, those responsible for DC pension schemes needed to be wary of the risks involved in backing start-ups, according to Mark Jaffray, head of DC consulting at Hymans Robertson.Jaffray said it was important to reduce DC schemes’ barriers to investing in illiquid assets such as infrastructure and private equity low yields and low contributions meant investment strategies “need to work harder to generate the returns required”.“However, the chancellor’s suggestion to use DC savings to invest in growing businesses should be approached carefully if it involves start-up investment,” Jaffray warned.“Although we are advocates of taking higher investment risk during the growth phase of the savings journey, it’s well known that over 80% of start-ups don’t succeed.“Unlike in defined benefit, DC members carry all the risk and the last thing we need is for a high-profile failure to damage industry confidence and trust.”
LeRoy van Zyl, partner at Mercer, said: “2018 was a turbulent year and it is disappointing to see it finish in deficit after finally reaching a surplus for the first time since Mercer began regularly monitoring the position.“While the return to deficit is unwelcome, we are still in a markedly better position compared to the very large deficit following the 2016 Brexit vote. However, the significant volatility demonstrates the importance of schemes locking in gains when opportunities to take risk off the table arise.”By the end of 2018, FTSE 350 pension schemes’ total assets were worth £747bn – down from £766bn a year earlier – while aggregate liabilities were £788bn, down slightly from £798bn at the end of 2017.Andrew Ward, partner at Mercer, added: “With continued Brexit related uncertainty, trustees must ensure the risks they’re running are consistent with their objectives and protects their sponsors’ long term financial security.”#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# UK listed company pension schemes ended 2018 with a poorer aggregate funding position than 12 months previously, despite having moved into surplus during the summer, according to data from Mercer.Falling corporate bond yields pushed combined liabilities for FTSE 350 schemes higher in December, with the total shortfall rising to £41bn (€45.7bn) at the end of the month. This compared to a £32bn total deficit at the end of 2017.Between May and September 2018, rising equity markets and fresh mortality data had helped erase the aggregate shortfall for FTSE 350 schemes. However, stock market and bond yield falls since then reversed the gains.In addition, the estimated cost of equalising guaranteed minimum pension payments has been estimated at £15-20bn. Source: MercerIn a separate assessment, JLT Employee Benefits estimated that the aggregate funding position of FTSE 350 pension schemes had improved slightly during 2018, with an overall deficit of £29bn – down from a £43bn shortfall 12 months earlier.Whitbread to pass on sale proceeds to pension fund Hotel and restaurant company Whitbread is to pass some of the proceeds of its recent sale of the Costa Coffee chain to its pension scheme.In a stock market notice last week, the FTSE 100-listed company said it would pay £380m to the Whitbread Group Pension Fund following the completion of the sale of Costa Coffee to the Coca-Cola Company.The one-off payment replaced a previous deficit contribution schedule, which the company said would have totalled £326m over the next four years and was linked to increases in Whitbread’s dividend.The deal with the £2.4bn scheme’s trustees also included an agreement to “release Costa from its obligations to the pension fund”.According to Whitbread’s 2017-18 annual report, the company’s pension fund had a shortfall of £289m on an accounting basis as of 1 March 2018. Coca-Cola paid £3.9bn for Costa Coffee in a deal agreed in August.
Actiam – Hans van Houwelingen is set to leave the Dutch asset manager as of January next year, according to an announcement this week. The company said that under his leadership, assets under management had grown to €62bn, its responsible investment policy had been further strengthened, and its range of investment funds had been transformed to allow for further national and international growth.Van Houwelingen, who has been CEO of Actiam since December 2016, said his decision to pursue other opportunities came after “months of reflection on my personal ambitions”.De Nationale APF – Subject to approval from the regulator, Roel Knol has been appointed as a new executive board member of De Nationale APF, the general pension fund of Dutch asset manager Nationale Nederlanden Investment Partners and its administrative subsidiary AZL. He is due to start on 1 November and will primarily be responsible for asset management and relationship management.For the past 17 years Knol worked for Robeco, where he was part of the fiduciary team. However, Robeco will stop fiduciary management for pension funds in 2020, as announced in September. Knol succeeds Henk de Bruijne, who left at the end of 2018. DSM Nederland – Margreet Teunissen was appointed chair of the supervisory board of pension fund DSM Nederland in September. She succeeded Wendy de Jong, who resigned in February in connection with her joining the supervisory board of the financial markets authority.Teunissen is chairman of the public libraries pension fund and non-executive chair of De Nationale APF. She is also a member of the supervisory board of IrisZorg, an organisation for addiction care and relief.Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) – Seema Hingorani has been appointed managing director at MSIM, with responsiblity for leading efforts with respect to diversity, talent development and client relationships. She is due to design a new training and development programme for junior investing talent across the entire investment platform, and will also be a senior relationship manager for many of MSIM’s largest and most important institutional clients.Hingorani is the founder of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit organisation that brings more women into investing and portfolio management roles. Before that she was chief investment officer for the New York City Retirement System. HSBC Global Asset Management – John Ware has been hired as senior product specialist for hedge funds in the asset manager’s alternatives team, responsible for its established hedge fund product offering and expanding the platform to a larger institutional investor base globally. He joined HSBC from BlackRock, where he was a senior product specialist for BlackRock Alternative Advisors, the firm’s hedge fund solutions platform. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) – Margaret Ammon will be the UK asset manager’s chief risk officer from February 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. She is currently chief risk officer for asset management at M&G. Ammon was chief risk officer for Colonial First State Global Asset Management from 2015 to 2017, and head of risk for the APAC region for Schroders before that. Michelle Scrimgeour, LGIM CEO, said: “Margaret brings more than 20 years’ experience in risk management, having held senior roles at a number of high profile asset management companies. Her proven track record in building global risk oversight models, coupled with a strong understanding of practical application within differing asset classes and markets, will be an invaluable addition to our business.”Schroders – The listed asset manager has hired Michael Leonard from LV= as a solutions manager for its Portfolio Solutions (PS) group. The role is new, and has a specific focus on buy & maintain credit portfolios that meet the matching adjustment requirements of insurers.At LV= Leonard was most recently head of investment, overseeing strategic asset allocation and balance sheet hedging, as well as derivative design and execution. He has also worked at Societe Generale Securities Services, Credit Suisse and Aegon UK.Schroders also said that Vivien Konrad has transferred from Schroders’ Zurich office, where she was a treasury and foreign exchange trader, to join the PS team also as a solutions manager in another newly-created role.Meanwhile, Gidon Aarons has joined the PS team as a defined contribution (DC) and retirement analyst. He joins from consultant Lane Clark & Peacock , where he was most recently associate DC investment consultant.Schroders said the additions to the Portfolio Solutions (PS) group were in response to growing client demand. Eastspring Investments – The $216bn Asian investment management arm of UK insurer Prudential has appointed Dirk Toedte as a director in its European fund distribution team. Based in Luxembourg, he will be responsible for sales and marketing in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and the Nordic region.He joins Eastspring from Alma Capital Investment Management , where he focused on institutional business development in Germany and Austria. Before that he held sales roles at Allianz Global Investors and Société Générale.Russell Investments – Bettina May has been named head of distribution with responsibility for driving the business strategy in Germany and Austria, focussing on expanding the business’ network and distribution with wholesale clients. She joins Russell Investments from Amundi, where she spent the last 12 years and was most recently senior client relationship manager with responsibilty for the expansion of the ETF, indexing and smart beta businesses. Warrington Borough Council, Altana Wealth, Actiam, De Nationale APF, DSM Nederland, MSIM, HSBC Global Asset Management, LGIM, Schroders, Eastspring Investments, Russell InvestmentsWarrington Borough Council/Altana Wealth – Omar Ghafur, the former head of private equity at LGPS Central , has been hired to manage a social impact fund for local authorities that has been launched by Warrington Borough Council and Altana Wealth. He joined the joint venture earlier this month. LGPS Central has been looking for a replacement for Ghafur, with applications for the position of head of private markets closing on 27 September. The pooling vehicle for nine UK local authority pension funds launched its first pooled private equity vehicle in February.