Vanguard hires for push to reach European consultants

The US manager, with $ 3.5 trillion in assets under management as of the end of May 2016, has hired the former executive director for institutional business development in the UK and Ireland at UBS Asset Management to oversee its own ambitions to broaden its reach with consultants.

Gavin Lewis has joined the firm in the new role of head of consultant relations for Europe, Vanguard said in a statement on July 8. He will be responsible for Vanguard’s work with European and UK consultants, and will also look to build its consultant relations team, the firm said. A Vanguard spokeswoman said Lewis has been charged with growing both its defined benefit and defined contribution pensions business.

In an interview with Financial News last month, John James, Vanguard’s head of UK and Europe, said there was a “far bigger role” for the firm to play in the pensions space in Europe. Vanguard’s European AUM stands at about $ 107 billion.

Lewis will report to Robyn Laidlaw, Vanguard’s head of UK distribution. Laidlaw said in the July 8 statement that Lewis “will play a critical role” in growing Vanguard’s low-cost funds in Europe, with a particular focus on the UK.

According to regulatory filings, Lewis’s time at UBS AM officially came to an end on June 23. He joined the funds arm of the Swiss investment bank in 2013. UBS AM did not respond to a request for comment.

Lewis previously worked for over two years at Russell Investments, where he was an associate director for UK institutional sales.

Update: The story has been updated with Vanguard’s latest AUM figure of $ 3.5 trillion.

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