New CIOs Join Mercer, Principal

Mercer names a leader for its US outsourced CIO practice, and Principal Asset Management appoints a CIO and global head of equities.

Mercer and Principal Asset Management have each named a new CIO, the firms announced separately on Tuesday. Mercer named Olaolu Aganga U.S. CIO and a partner, while Principal named George Maris CIO and global head of equities.


Maris will take on responsibilities across Principal’s equities platform, including managing 126 investment personnel across global investments, and serve as a named portfolio manager on international equity strategies. Maris previously served as head of equities for the Americas at Janus Henderson and lead portfolio manager on the firm’s international and global alpha equity strategies.

“We’re excited to bring George on-board as a leader and portfolio manager to help advance our offerings across domestic, international, and emerging market equities, all of which are sought after active management strategies with our clients,” said Kamal Bhatia, global head of investments at Principal Asset Management.

A Principal spokesperson did not return requests for additional details.

Principal added Maris as a named portfolio manager on the firm’s active fundamental public equities strategies, including international mutual funds, variable annuities and the Principal Life Insurance Co. separate account.

Principal had named Owais Rana head of investment solutions at Principal Asset Management in February, as the firm integrates the global asset management and international pension businesses under the Principal Asset Management brand. Principal combined its global leadership team earlier this year to reflect the integration and named Bhatia the head of global investments, in addition to his ongoing roles as president and CEO of Principal Funds, in February.


Aganga reports to Hooman Kaveh, Mercer’s global CIO, and joined the leadership team for Mercer’s U.S. outsourced CIO practice. Mercer hired Aganga to bolster its investment expertise, said Jen Kruse, Mercer’s U.S. OCIO leader, in a statement.

“We are fortunate to attract the brightest investment talent, and Olaolu’s move to Mercer reflects that,” Kruse said. “With Olaolu’s client-centric focus and proven track record of driving innovation and results, we are confident she will be a trusted advisor to our clients to help them navigate and capture the opportunities of the rapidly evolving global market.” 

Aganga is responsible for leading Mercer’s U.S. outsourced CIO practice, implementing and delivering the firm’s OCIO investment processes, strategic asset allocation, fund manager selection and risk management across Mercer clients, according to the press release.

Aganga was most recently a managing director within BlackRock’s U.S. outsourced CIO business. Prior to BlackRock, Aganga advised institutional clients on a variety of investment solutions for Goldman Sachs.

Mercer is responsible for $393 billion global assets under management, as of June 30, a Mercer spokesperson said by email.

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