Janet Oram was appointed head of asset-backed securities at USS Investment Management, as USS continues to grow its in-house fixed-income and treasury capability.
The role is new and Ms. Oram will work a four-day week on a flexible basis — reflecting USS IM's efforts "to be a caring, flexible employer and accommodating for any of our staff," Ben Clissold, head of fixed income and treasury, said in a telephone interview.
Ms. Oram is tasked with building a new team focused on sourcing, valuing and executing structured credit opportunities in public markets. She will also collaborate with USS IM's private markets group to develop the existing private structured credit focus.
USS IM is the in-house manager for Universities Superannuation Scheme, London, which had £67.6 billion ($83.8 billion) in total assets as of March 31, 2020, the fund's latest annual report.
"Janet brings lots of experience in ABS, which was an area where we as a team was underrepresented," Mr. Clissold said in the interview. How much she and her team will run for USS "is an open question — it is an area where we will build out a team and, like lots of areas of credit, may choose to deploy more or less depending on the relative value between (ABS) and corporate bonds."
USS has a small private markets allocation to ABS but nothing material in public markets, a spokeswoman said.
USS IM executives believe ABS will "bring lots of investment opportunities going forward," Mr. Clissold added.
Ms. Oram was managing director and head of European ABS at BlackRock. Kate Galustian was appointed head of the European asset-backed securities team within global fixed income at BlackRock, effective May 21, a spokeswoman said. Ms. Galustian has been a senior member of the European ABS team since joining the $9.01 trillion money manager in 2018.