July round-up: moves, M&A, fund launches and closures

If you were on holidays in July and are back in office in August, InvestmentEurope has summed up some of the most important moves, mergers and acquisitions, fund launches and closures that have occurred over the last month.

People moves
Janus Henderson has appointed Richard “Dick” Weil as sole chief executive officer on 31 July. Former co-CEO Andrew Formica has stepped down from his role immediately. Read more.

Amundi’s equity chief Diego Franzin has left the company to pursue a new opportunity in Milan. His successor will be named in due course while Pascal Blanque and Vincent Mortier, Amundi’s chief investment officer and deputy chief investment officer respectively, oversee equity investments with the support of Alexandre Drabowicz, deputy head of Equities. Read more.

Fidelity International has appointed Anne Richards as chief executive officer. Currently CEO of M&G Investments, Richards will join the manager in December and will report to Fidelity International’s chairman Abigail Johnson. Read more.

Bond veteran Jon Mawby, formerly at Man GLG, has joined Pictet Asset Management as senior portfolio manager within the firm’s total return credit team. He is a co-manager on the credit long/short credit Pictet TR Kosmos fund. Read more.

Pictet Wealth Management has appointed Alessandro Nilo as head of Quantitative Research. He joins from Euromobiliare Asset Management SGR. Read more.

AXA Investment Managers has appointed Johann Ropers as head of Fund Investments within the alternative solutions team. Ropers is based in London, reporting to Alexandre Martin-Min, chief investment officer structured finance and co-head of Securitised and Structured Assets at AXA IM. Read more.

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has appointed Jane Ambachtsheer as global head of Sustainability, effective 27 August 2018. She will report to Frédéric Janbon, CEO and head of Investments at BNPP AM. Read more.

Franklin Templeton Investments has named Andrew Ness as portfolio manager of Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity (FTEME), effective 17 September 2018. He will be a portfolio manager for the Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust (TEMIT). Read more.

Groupama Asset Management has promoted Servane Duforest as head of Multi Asset following the departure of Henri Chabadel who joined BlackRock as chief investment officer FraBeLux in June. Read more.

Santander Asset Management has appointed Oriana Mezini as an emerging market equity analyst within its fund selection team headed by José María Martínez-Sanjuán. Read more.

Italy’s Azimut Capital Management has promoted Massimo Donatoni to the role of co-managing director and director of the wealth management unit. Read more.

Swiss bank UBS has appointed Henrich Baer as new head of Luxembourg wealth management unit, effective 1 October 2018. Read more.

The former head of Manager Selection at Credit Suisse, Laurent Auchlin, has joined Aubonne-based consultancy firm Anglo-Swiss Advisors as managing director at the start of July. Read more.

Columbia Threadneedle has announced the retirement of Vanessa Donegan, who is set to leave the firm at the end of the year after more than 35 years in the industry. Read more.

Zurich-headquartered Fisch Asset Management has appointed Gerrit Bahlo as convertible bond portfolio manager amid expansion context. Read more.

Asset managers developments and launches

Old Mutual Global Investors has been renamed as Merian Global Investors shortly after splitting from its former parent Quilter (formerly Old Mutual Wealth). The business will continue to operate as OMGI until Autumn. The new name was inspired by the life of scientist, artist and adventurer Maria Sibylla Merian. Read more.

Impact SIM has received green light from the Italian financial market regulator to operate as local asset manager. The firm has been launched by ex-Azimut veterans Fausto Artoni, Stefano Mach and Gherardo Spinola. They continue to manage a few Azimut funds despite having quit the firm last November. Read more.

Eurizon Capital has expanded its team in Germany and opened an office in Switzerland in a move aimed at increasing its presence in Europe. The Italian firm has appointed Jörg Ahlheid as senior sales manager for Germany and Austria, Howard Luder as country head for Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and Manuel Dalla Corte as country head Switzerland. Read more.

Natixis Investment Managers has reached an agreement to purchase a minority stake in Californian boutique WCM Investment Management (WCM) and become their exclusive third-party distributor, subject to limited exclusions. Under the terms of the deal, Natixis, taking a 24.9% stake in WCM, will distribute the US equity growth manager’s investment strategies globally and support its development. Read more.

KBL Private Bankers’ former subsidiaries Banque Richelieu France, Banque Richelieu Monaco and Richelieu Gestion have received regulatory approval for the launch of the new private banking and asset management group Compagnie Financière Richelieu. The entity is chaired Antoun Sehnaoui while managing director is Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Read more.

Nordea Asset Management has signed an agreement to purchase a 40% stake in Stockholm-based asset manager Madrague Capital Partners. The Nordics giant manager plans to launch a global long/short equity fund managed by Madrague Capital Partners. Read more.

Former Verrazzano Capital’s portfolio manager Youssef Benhaddouch has been awarded an asset management license by French financial market regulator AMF for its new venture Revel Asset Management. Hervé Ragagnon, formerly portfolio manager at Exane and Trusteam Finance, has joined Benhaddouch’s new boutique. Read more.

Insight Investment has opened an office in Frankfurt for its institutional business in Germany and Austria. The company has been working with institutional investors in Germany since 2007. Olaf John, head of Business Development Europe at Insight Investment is heading the new office. Read more.

Deutsche Bank has moved a large part of its euro clearing activity to Frankfurt from London in the latest sign of rival European cities seeking to divert business away from the City ahead of Brexit. Read more.

British alternative asset manager Polar Capital has been granted an operating license by the French financial market regulator AMF for Polar Capital (Europe), a subsidiary it has established in Paris amid Brexit fears. Read more.

Société Générale has reached an agreement with ABN Amro for the sale of its private banking activities in Belgium. According to the terms of the deal, subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in Q1 2019, Read more.

Fund launches, mergers and closures

GAM has suspended Tim Haywood, head of the unconstrained/absolute return bond strategy (ARBF), following an internal investigation. Issues in risk management procedures and his record keeping in certain instances have been highlighted. Read more.

Investec Asset Management has unveiled an alternative investment fund range – the Investec Global Alternative Fund 1, domiciled in Luxembourg and targeting European institutional investors. Read more.

French quantitative boutique Sagara Financière has liquidated its entire fund range. Read more.

Oddo BHF AM has begun the inclusion of ESG considerations in its investment grade corporate bond portfolios, starting with the Oddo BHF Euro Corporate bond fund. Read more.

Schroders has launched the Schroder Alternative Solutions (Schroder AS) Argentine Bond fund, a strategy focused on investing across Argentina’s full credit spectrum. Read more.

Somerset Capital Management has unveiled the MI Somerset Frontier Markets fund that holds 40 to 50 companies. Read more.

Mirova, the SRI-focused boutique of Natixis Investment Managers, is to merge away two equity funds on 1 August 2018. Read more.

Lazard Asset Management has launched the Lazard Global Commodities fund, run by Terrence Brennan and the manager’s commodities team. Read more.

Vanguard has launched the Vanguard DAX Ucits ETF, providing access to 30 of the largest and most liquid companies in Germany. Read more.

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is deputy editor and French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

Read more from Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

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