Columbia Threadneedle Investments has bolstered its leadership team with a trio from BMO Global Asset Management (BMO GAM), following its acquisition of the firm’s EMEA asset management business.
The acquisition, which is due to complete in the Q4 2021, grows Columbia Threadneedle's assets under management (AUM) to $671bn as its parent company Ameriprise Financial acquires the business in an all-cash transaction for £615m.
Richard Watts, Stewart Bennett and David Logan will all join the Columbia Threadneedle leadership team, subject to regulatory approval.
Watts will take on the role of chief investment officer, EMEA, succeeding current EMEA CIO William Davies. Davies takes over as global CIO from Colin Moore, who is set to retire in January 2022.
Watts leaves behind the role of CIO for BMO GAM, and in his new role will oversee Columbia Threadneedle's investment function across EMEA. He will report to Davies.
Bennett leaves behind the role of global head of alternatives at BMO GAM to take on the same role at Columbia Threadneedle, reporting to CEO Ted Truscott.
In his new role, he will lead the firm's expanded real assets business, private equity business, Thames River Capital, Pyrford and the US-based hedge fund Seligman.
Logan has been appointed global chief operating officer, a newly created role which will see him take on responsibility for driving the firm's risk management culture, deliver "operational excellence" and contribute to the "long-term strategic agenda".
He leaves behind his role as global head of distribution, with the majority of his responsibilities falling to Michaela Collet Jackson, head of distribution EMEA at Columbia Threadneedle.
Logan will also report to CEO Truscott.
Truscott said: "I am excited to welcome Richard, Stewart and David to Columbia Threadneedle's expanded leadership team. They will add to our strong roster of experienced, client-focused asset management leaders and help position the firm to meet the current and future needs of investors around the world.
"Our acquisition of BMO's European asset management business adds complementary strengths and capabilities in strategically important areas, and these appointments demonstrate the compatibility of our businesses. Richard has been integral to the growth and success of BMO GAM's investment proposition, including its leadership in responsible investment and solutions, reflecting his strategic vision and clear understanding of client needs.
"The establishment of a global alternatives business is an important milestone for Columbia Threadneedle. We have been adding to our alternative capabilities over the past several years in response to increasing demand from our clients for less liquid, diversifying assets, both as standalone strategies and within bespoke solutions. With Stewart's experience and leadership, we see great potential to develop further this offering.
"Operational excellence is foundational and in the new role of global chief operating officer, David will bring broad knowledge and deep technical and client experience to help deliver our change agenda and ensure a robust, risk-focused environment and a culture of operational excellence as we bring our organisations together over the next several months and beyond."