Schroders’ chief executive Michael Dobson will step down from his role, which he has held since November 2001, and be succeeded by Peter Harrison on 4 April 2016.
Dobson will remain with the company in the role of non-executive chairman of the board, succeeding Andrew Beeson, who is retiring on 4 April having been a member of the board since 2004 and chairman for the past four years.
The company’s board noted the UK’s Corporate Governance Code’s provisions, which recommend that chief executives not become chairman, but believes that the appointments are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.
In a letter to shareholders, senior independent director, Philip Howard, wrote: “The board recognises that the [code] states that, ordinarily, the chief executive should not go on to be the chairman, but that if a board does decide to appoint the chief executive as chairman, then the board should consult shareholders. The board has consulted the major shareholders of the company to explain the reasons behind this decision.”
According to the Financial Times, Dobson defended the move, saying: “We know the code says chief executives should not become chair but the board has decided it is in the best interests of the company, bearing in mind my experience and knowledge of our clients.”
Harrison joined Schroders in 2013 as head of equities, becoming a member of the board and head of investment in 2014.
In addition, Massimo Tosato, executive vice chairman and global head of distribution, will retire as a director of the company and leave the firm on 31 December 2016.
Hervé Marguin has been appointed chief underwriting officer, general insurance Asia Pacific at Zurich Insurance.
He will report to Stuart Spencer, chief executive, general insurance, Asia Pacific; and to Alan Fairhead, chief underwriting officer, general insurance, Zurich Insurance Group.
Marguin joined Zurich’s general insurance business in 1997 as an actuary in France, and in 2001 joined Zurich corporate solutions, a global corporate unit, as chief actuary working in underwriting based in Switzerland.
He then held various finance and operational managerial roles for general insurance in the performance management area, prior to his move to Hong Kong where he has been general insurance chief financial officer for Asia Pacific since 2011.
Legal & General Investment Management
LGIM has appointed Rhodri Mason to the newly created role of head of product, responsible for leading the business’ product function across all product teams. Mason, whose appointment is subject to regulatory approval, will join the team on 7 March and report to head of investment, Aaron Meder.
Mason has 10 years’ experience in product design across all major asset classes and joins from Hermes Investment Management, where he was head of investment solutions & product strategy. Prior to this, he was head of Ucits management at Man Investments and has previously held product-development roles at BlackRock, Barclays Global Investors, and M&G Investments.
Nikko Asset Management
Tokyo-headquartered Nikko Asset Management has appointed Mark de Vries as chief risk management officer with responsibility for the governance of risk and related opportunities, encompassing investment risk management and enterprise risk management.
He reports directly to Nikko Asset Management director, executive deputy president, Junichi Sayato.
De Vries has more than 20 years of professional experience worldwide with organisations such as ABN AMRO Bank, Shinsei Bank, and Nomura International. He was most recently managing director, head of quantitative analytics and risk at Dymon Asia Capital in Singapore.
Australia-based platform Praemium has appointed former NAB wealth executive Anna Itsiopoulos to the newly created role of general manager for Australia.
Based in Melbourne; Itsiopoulos, who previously held senior management roles at Aviva and MLC, will report directly to Praemium chief executive Michael Ohanessian.
Momentum Pensions, the pension specialist and independent pension trustee, has appointed Liz Wesson as business development manager. She will be Momentum’s first sales and technical support appointment specifically focusing on the Midlands region.
Wesson was previously a wealth management consultant at Old Mutual Wealth Management. At Momentum her principal focus will be to promote the firm’s expanding Sipp proposition to UK advisers. In addition, she will offer technical guidance and support to advisers with international clients.
A member of the Chartered Insurance Institute, Wesson will be based in Momentum’s Manchester office. She has over 20 years’ financial planning experience having previously developed her career with brands such as Ageas Protect, Zurich, and Britannia.
Tcam Asset Management
Mark Little, former head of Barclays Wealth Scotland will join Tcam as an investment director in April 2016.
He left Barclays Wealth at the end of 2013 following a restructure of the bank’s regional offices; having headed up the firm’s Scotland and Northern Ireland offices since 2005.
S.W. Mitchell Capital
Specialist European equity manager S. W. Mitchell Capital has named Hugh Grootenhuis as a special adviser to the boutique.
Grootenhuis, who recently spent six years as chief executive of Waverton Investment Management and predecessor JO Hambro Investment Management (JOHIM), has also become a director of S.W. Mitchell Capital, the Irish Ucits company.