As of May 1, Elizabeth (“Liz”) Fernando has taken the helm as the chief investment officer of the $31 billion National Employees Savings Trust (Nest) in London, taking over the job Mark Fawcett held for the past 14 years, according to a Nest press release. Fawcett will remain the CEO of Nest Invest, the pension scheme’s FCA-authorized subsidiary, and on Nest Corporation’s Executive Committee, as managing director of its investment function. As such, Fawcett will be responsible for the overall management of Nest’s investment operation while Liz will now lead on the day-to-day implementation of Nest’s investment strategy.
Nest has been a true growth story, growing at an influx of more than $5 billion per year. Fernando came to the fund in 2020, having spent more than 14 years as deputy CIO and head of equities of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), and was appointed deputy CIO of Nest in 2021.
“I want to empower the team to keep looking for innovative investment approaches. From our market-leading approach to responsible investment, to expanding our exposure into private markets,” she said in a written statement.
Said Fawcett, “Nest is taking £5bn in pension contributions every year and will soon be a £30bn scheme. Today’s announcement keeps Nest looking forward, with Liz steering Nest’s investment strategy from strength to strength.
“It’ll be strange after 14 years to no longer be Nest’s CIO, but I know Liz will do a fantastic job and I’m looking forward to focusing more of my time on evolving the long-term strategy of Nest Invest.”
Media sources report Fernando’s last position of deputy CIO will not be filled.