Sandra Urie is to step down as chair and chief executive of global asset consultant Cambridge Associates after 25 years with the firm, but will remain, at least part-time, working with clients in the role as “chairman emeritus”. She hopes to devote more time to impact investing, which is a personal passion.
Urie is credited in helping to make Cambridge a truly global firm, including with the establishment of an Australian office. In recent years it has also expanded into mainstream asset classes as well as its traditional core business in researching alternatives. The group has also established a New Zealand beach-head in 2010 after securing the asset consulting gig at Foundation North, the $1.3 billion charitable fund formerly know as the ASB Community Trust.
The new chair and chief executive is the current president and head of global investments, David Druley. Cambridge also announced that Philip Walton, the head of private clients, would become president and act as a “partner” to Druley. The changes take place as of July 1.
Urie, 63, joined Cambridge in 1985 and had led the firm since 2000. She said in a statement: “After 25 years in various firm leadership roles, I am excited to redirect my efforts and spend even more time meeting with clients to focus on their specific needs. I will also devote energy to an area of great personal interest – the growing opportunity set in impact investing.”
In other high-level funds appointment news across the ditch, James Crawford has been recruited away from the Sydney office of global manager Wellington Management to become “director of global investments” for First State (formerly Colonial First State).
Crawford has had a distinguished career in investment management, starting as head of research at the former Commonwealth Funds Management and then moving to an asset consultant role at the former Towers Perrin in the 1990s. He moved into funds management in 2002, firstly as head of strategy at IAG Asset Management, then at Alliance Bernstein and then Wellington, from June, 2012.
Elsewhere BT Investment Management has established a global executive committee to lead the company’s overseas expansion. Members of the global executive committee include Emilio Gonzalez, BT chief executive; Cameron Williamson, BT chief financial officer; and Gavin Rochussen, JO Hambro chief executive.
Meanwhile, BT has searches underway for a group chief risk officer and an Australian chief executive, who will also join the committee.
Finally, CFA Institute has appointed Nick Pollard as managing director of CFA Institute Asia Pacific. Pollard, who will be based in Hong Kong, was previously chief executive of the Asian division of Royal Bank of Scotland’s private bank, Coutts. CFA Institute opened offices in Beijing and Mumbai last year and is keen to build its membership in China and India.
* Greg Bright is publisher of Investor Strategy News (Australia)