The United Nations (UN) pension fund has appointed a new director of investments a year after it was accused of “massive fraud”.
Herman Bril, formerly managing director and chief financial officer at risk management specialist Cardano, has been hired to help lead the $53.5 billion UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, according to Bril’s LinkedIn page.
A spokesperson for Cardano confirmed Bril’s departure.
Bril first joined Cardano in 2009. He was previously head of treasury at Dutch insurance giant Aegon, and has served as CIO at Dutch asset manager Syntrus Achmea.
Bril’s appointment at the UN pension follows controversy over policy reforms initiated by CEO Sergio Arvizú last year. According to Arvizú, the reforms—including shifting control over staffing from the UN secretary general to the fund CEO, as well as simplifying the fund’s governance structure—would “improve the financial control environment of the fund.”
However, UN staff and union representatives balked at the proposed changes, with officials accusing Arvizú of fraud and characterizing the proposal as a power-grab. Union staff representative Michelle Rockliffe called the new policy an “attempt to concentrate power in the hands of one man: the CEO.”
Arvizú fired back in a letter to members of the UN pension board and staff pension committees, calling the fraud charges “totally unfounded” and “fabricated to damage the fund.” His policy reforms, he added, were backed by both the pension board and the General Assembly.
A UN Office of Internal Oversight investigation concluded the fraud allegations were unsubstantiated.
Currently, the pension fund’s investments are overseen by Carol Boykin, representative to the UN secretary general.
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