Vanguard has named Thomas Merz as head of European distribution, ex-UK. In this newly created role, Merz will be responsible for expanding the firm’s presence in both new and established markets in continental Europe.
Prior to joining Vanguard, Merz was head of ETFs, Europe at UBS Asset Management. Based in Zurich, he has joined Vanguard’s European leadership team and will report to Sean Hagerty, head of Europe.
Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for Emirates NBD’s wealth management division, has resigned having only re-joined the bank in January 2016. No reason was given for his departure.
Dugan previously worked at the bank as general manager and chief investment officer of private banking for three years before leaving in July 2012. He then worked for Coutts in Singapore for two years as managing director and chief investment officer, Asia and Middle East.
In 2014, he returned to UAE to join National Bank of Abu Dhabi as chief investment officer, which he left in November 2015 to re-join Emirates NBD.
VAM Funds has hired industry veteran David Cockerton to provide consultancy services in expanding its existing business across the Middle East. Reporting directly to sales and marketing director David Macdonald, he will work closely with Mark Taylor, VAM’s local regional manager, on executing VAM’s sales and distribution growth plans across the region.
Cockerton will act as a senior adviser to VAM Funds, growing its life company, investment platform and bank relationships across the Middle East.
Cockerton, who previously held several senior positions with Zurich in Asia, Europe and more recently the Middle East, left the Swiss insurer in January after 23 years with the insurance giant.
Prior to his departure, he co-chaired the HSBC and Citibank Regional Steering Committees and played a pivotal role in Zurich’s recent announcement of an exclusive distribution agreement with Standard Chartered Bank in the UAE and Bahrain.
Chris Langford has been named head of retail banking and wealth management in Jersey, tasked with overseeing the bank’s branch network and lead its premier, wealth and mortgage teams. He was previously area director for HSBC UK, covering numerous parts of the country.
Having started his career with Prudential Assurance in 1994, Langford subsequently worked for a number of wealth management and banking organisations both in the UK and Europe, including two years in Luxembourg. Before joining HSBC in 2011, Langford held a director position at Nationwide Building Society with responsibilities spanning across the south of England.
Willis Towers Watson
Mei-Chee Shum has been appointed to the newly created role of greater China life sales and practice leader in Willis Towers Watson insurance consulting and software business. Shum has been tasked with helping the firm address vast client, geographical, cultural and regulatory differences across Asia, with her focus being greater China.
Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Shum held a number of senior positions across Asia, most recently as chief marketing officer for AIA’s operations in the Philippines and group head of product strategy for AIA Group based in Hong Kong. Prior to this, she was chief financial officer and later chief executive for Manulife Taiwan.
The former interim head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Tracey McDermott, is one of 20 executives that will join the board of the UK’s newest trade body, UK Finance (UKF). McDermott, who is currently a senior executive at Standard Chartered, will lead the UKF’s work on fraud and financial crime detection and prevention.
The organisation will represent 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. It was formed by merging six existing trade bodies and is expected to become one of the most influential private sector lobbying groups in Britain.