Nico Aspinall will depart as CIO of the U.K. defined contribution multiemployer plan The People's Pension to join impact investment firm Connected Asset Management as CIO, a spokeswoman for Connected confirmed.
Mr. Aspinall will lead the firm's sustainable investment strategy. When he joins at the end of November, Mr. Aspinall will replace current CIO Gustave Rieunier, who will become chief operating officer. The role is new.
"Nico is an astonishingly brilliant appointment for Connected. His deep working knowledge of managing DC pension investment strategies at the highest level will be critical for Connected as we develop and deliver an entirely sustainable solution to long-term investment for the U.K. pensions industry," Darren Agombar, founder and CEO of Connected, said in a news release Tuesday.
Connected will launch an impact fund aimed at defined contribution plans in October that will target at least £60 million ($83 million) in assets under management.
The People's Pension, which is sponsored by B&CE, West Sussex, England, is yet to recruit a new CIO. "We will be recruiting behind Nico, but we haven't appointed as yet. Nico will continue to work with us over the coming months, alongside our expert investment governance committee, to ensure continuity in driving forward our investment strategy as we recruit a new CIO, " a spokeswoman at The People's Pension said in an email.
The People' Pension launched in 2011 in response to the U.K. government's requirements on employers to enroll employees into DC plans. Through helping employers meet their automatic-enrollment duties, the plan has since seen its assets grow to £15 billion. Mr. Aspinall, who joined in September 2017, was the plan's first CIO.
In July, the master trust hired Jon Cunliffe as investment managing director. The role is new. Mr. Cunliffe will work alongside the new CIO to boost investment activities of the plan, the spokeswoman said.