Hermes fund chief Anson quits

Former CalPERS CIO returns to the US after 18 months at UK activist manager

Mark Anson, the former chief investment officer of CalPERS, the US pension fund giant, has quit his post as chief executive of Hermes Pensions Management, one of the UK’s biggest fund managers and corporate activists, after just 18 months in the job.
The fund manager said Anson, an American, was returning to the US for family reasons. A company spokesperson said that Anson’s father had recently died. On his return to the US, Anson will take up a senior post in September with Nuveen Investments, the Chicago-based mutual fund specialist, which manages $170bn (€124bn) in assets.
In June, Nuveen agreed to be acquired by a private equity consortium led by US investment fund manager Madison Dearborn Partners for $5.4bn in cash. The deal is the latest and largest of a trend of leverage buy-outs of asset management firms in the US.
Hermes, the £72bn (€108bn) UK fund manager, is the parent group of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, one of the world’s most prominent activist investment divisions, which takes stakes and board positions incompanies to push for long-term value creation.
The parent invests money on behalf of over 240 clients including pension funds, insurance companies, government entities and charities. Its biggest client is its owner, the £36bn BT pension scheme.
In his former role at CalPERS, the giant $247bn (€181bn) US pension fund for Californian public employees, Anson oversaw significant investment diversification into asset classes such as infrastructure as well as an active approach to corporate governance.
Hermes said that until Anson’s successor has been appointed, the company will be managed by its executive committee. Rupert Clarke, head of Hermes Real Estate Investment Management, will act as chief executive officer.
Richard Bernays, chairman of Hermes Pensions Management, said: “Mark has made a significant contribution to Hermes since he joined at the beginning of last year. We understand the family reasons that require him to return to the US and we wish him and his family well.”