Cardano Group has appointed Marino Valensise to be its group chief investment, and oversee the investment strategy of Now: Pensions.
Valensise joins from Barings Asset Management, where he has worked for the past 20 years in a number of roles, including CIO, head of Baring’s multi asset group and co-manager of its Dynamic Allocation fund.
In this new role he will be working across the Cardano Group but this will include strategic investment decisions on the Now: Pensions default fund.
Cardano recently acquired Now Pensions from APT. This is the third largest auto-enrolment provider in the UK, with around 900,000 active members and a further 800,000 deferred members.
However in recent years its performance has lagged other master trust providers.
Valensise will be based in the UK, and will work closely with Keith Guthrie, deputy CIO, and Tom Rivers, head of strategy. He is expected to join the firm on 1 June 2020.
Now: Pensions adopts a slightly different investment approach when compared to other master trust providers. Its default fund is a diversified growth fund, where allocation is to risk and return levels, rather than having fixed allocations to different asset classes.
It remains to be seen whether this approach will enable it to make up some of this lost ground following a more turbulent period, with stock markets around the globe falling in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cardano group chief executive Michael De Lathauwer says: “With the recruitment of Marino as CIO, we are bringing a very experienced multi asset investment professional into the group.
“Our business has grown significantly over the last few years. Marino’s investment experience will be very valuable as we face major market uncertainty, alongside opportunities through the current dislocations.
“The team has calmly navigated the recent turbulence very well, proving the benefits of economically balanced portfolios. We strongly believe that the right leadership and investment skills will service our clients well in the future.”
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