Schroders has reshuffled a number of senior roles as it seeks to strengthen its core investment management team in the face of mounting competition from larger rivals such as BlackRock and Vanguard.
The £444bn London-listed manager last month posted a 14 per cent drop in first-half pre-tax profits after difficult market conditions led to outflows of £7.2bn from its equity products.
Charles Prideaux has been promoted to global head of investment, a position that has been vacant since Peter Harrison moved up to the role of group chief executive. Mr Prideaux will be responsible for Schroders’ investment platform and will lead the effort to build environmental, social and governance capabilities across the business.
Schroders hired Carolina Minio-Paluello from Lombard Odier Investment Managers to take over Mr Prideaux’s previous duties and oversee Schroders’ quantitative investment teams. Meanwhile Johanna Kyrklund will become group chief investment officer, retaining her existing role as global head of multi-asset investments.
Mr Harrison said that bringing together the oversight of investment management, product development and performance would enhance Schroders’ ability to meet its clients’ needs.
“Schroders has grown rapidly over the past three years and now is the time to evolve further our investment business to ensure we are well positioned to continue this progress,” he said.
The reshuffle reflects Mr Harrison’s determination to respond to the fierce competition for new business from the low-cost tracker funds offered by BlackRock and Vanguard.
Paul McGinnis, an analyst with Shore Capital, said the large size of Schroders’ asset base meant that achieving significant new growth was “a struggle.”
Schroders has responded to the pressures on its core fund management operations by expanding its wealth management and private assets businesses. These attract less volatile client inflows and generate higher profit margins.
It acquired Thirdrock, a £1.7bn Singapore-based wealth manager this year as part of a push to build up its private client business in Asia. Schroders also bought Blue Asset Management, a Munich-based real estate boutique, in May and followed with the acquisition in July of a majority stake in BlueOrchard Finance, a microfinance and impact investing specialist.
Schroders’s share price ended trading on Tuesday at £27.90, up 14.2 per cent this year.
The group also said John Troiano, its veteran global head of distribution, would retire after 38 years. He will be replaced by Lieven Debruyne, who has led Schroders’s business strategy in Asia Pacific for the past 14 years. Mr Debruyne will remain in Hong Kong as Asia Pacific chief executive until his successor there is appointed and then return to London.
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