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Hermes mitigates Brexit risk by establishing Hermes Fund Managers Ireland Limited

14 January 2019

Senior professionals Carol Mahon and Aoifinn Devitt join

Hermes Investment Management, the £36 billion manager, has announced that it has established an Irish domiciled management company, Hermes Fund Managers Ireland Limited (HFM Ireland) in response to the risks posed by Brexit as well as the firm’s broader strategic outlook and commercial expansion plans. Therefore, Hermes has appointed Carol Mahon, Head of Ireland, and Aoifinn Devitt, Head of Investment- Ireland. Both will be based in Dublin once the company is operational. Hermes has been running a Brexit Mitigation Project based on the presumption of a “hard Brexit” without any transitional arrangements. This is part of Hermes’ expansion plans in Europe as well as part of the Brexit mitigation plan undertaken after the referendum.

HFM Ireland was authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”) on 11 December 2018 as a UCITS management company, and alternative investment fund manager and also has permission to provide individual portfolio management services.

In this newly created role, Carol will be responsible for the oversight, development and management of HFM Ireland and any branches in the European Economic Area (“EEA”), with support from relevant Hermes senior management. Further to this, Carol will review, progress and embed the Hermes distribution strategy developed in conjunction with Harriet Steel, Head of Business Development.  Carol will work closely with Hermes Sales, Marketing, Product, Business Development Management, Compliance and other teams to ensure efficient coordination of activities and appropriate flow of management information including sales, pipeline and financial management information. Carol will report to Harriet Steel.

Carol joins Hermes from Fidelity International, where she built out an impressive career over 17 years, most recently as CEO for FIL Life Insurance Ireland DAC. Appointed to CEO in 2013, Carol was responsible for leading the development of the strategic plan to deliver against business objectives and identifying opportunities to develop and grow the business. Furthermore, she oversaw company operations to ensure the effective delivery against client and regulatory expectations. In 2006 she was appointed Head of Operations and Relationship Management for FIL Fund Management (Ireland) Limited. Prior to joining the FIL Group in 2000, Carol held a number of positions within MeesPierson Fund Services (Dublin) Limited between 1996-1999.  Carol has a BA (Hons) in Economics & German from University College Dublin (UCD) and an MBA from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

An investment professional with extensive experience across a variety of asset classes and management structures, Aoifinn will be responsible for the development and delivery of investment management oversight processes for HFM Ireland regarding products under management, inclusive of collective investment schemes and managed client accounts.  Further to this, she will be  responsible for delivering investment recommendations to advisory clients in Europe, liaising with, and reviewing the output provided by investment professionals within Hermes. Aoifinn will also analyse, develop and embed the firm’s investment management oversight processes and policies in light of Hermes’ business developments and Irish regulatory requirements as well as verify the investment capabilities of the investment teams in the context of existing products and future product initiatives. Aoifinn has a LLB, with distinction and a Diploma in Russian and Russian Studies from Trinity College Dublin an MBA from INSEAD and a BCL from Magdalen College, University of Oxford.   Aoifinn will report to Eoin Murray, Head of Investment.

Prior to joining Hermes, she was the Chief Investment Officer of the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund, a $2.6 bn Illinois-based public fund. She has also acted as an independent advisor to numerous UK based local government pension schemes and founded a pan-alternative advisory and research firm, Clontarf Capital Limited.  With over 15 years’ experience across buy side and sell side environments, Aoifinn has conducted portfolio management and asset allocation for a broad range of structures, including regulated funds, across a wide range of market conditions, and led and developed investment teams.

Saker Nusseibeh, Chief Executive, Hermes Investment Management:

“Since the referendum in 2016, we have always planned for a ‘hard Brexit’. We recognised early on that we had to make appropriate contingency plans in the absence of certainty, in order to ensure, to the extent possible, that we remain able to manage our clients’ assets in line with their expectations of us. 

“Hermes has ten years of investment management activities and service provider relationships in Ireland, with our UCITS range domiciled there. Given this, and our European business growth, we have taken the Brexit opportunity to bolster our presence in Ireland with the establishment of a management company to lead the management of Hermes’ European product offering and facilitate distribution to European clients.

“Moreover, the addition of such experienced, knowledgeable and skilled professionals as Carol and Aoifinn, will not only help us transition through Brexit effectively, but deepen our footprint in Europe and ensure that we are providing best in class service to our clients.”

HFM Ireland is currently recruiting for additional roles, including Head of Compliance.

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