(Pictured: Daphne van der Oord)
S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI) aims to increase its presence in the institutional index space as it builds out its Australian team under the leadership of recent hire Daphne van der Oord.
“Given the partnership that we have with the ASX, a big portion of my role will be to ensure that the current aspects of our relationship run smoothly, and secondly to initiate value add to some of the current programs,” van der Oord said.
Van der Oord joined SPDJI from Mann Investments, where she was responsible for institutional business development, and prior to that she held a similar role at ING Investment Management.
Van der Oord said it was “no accident” that SPDJI had hired somebody with her institutional background and tailored institutional indices would definitely be a focus in the future.
“It behoves people to look at an independent provider [of an index],” she says.
“I think in the past there was a practical approach to this and the role of investment manger and index provider may have been rolled into one. But I think, increasingly, those conversations can become fraught.”
The best outcome for an institutional client could therefore be an independent provider of an index, around which a fund manager builds an investment capability.
The SPDJI team in Australia currently has five people, including one who will relocate from Hong Kong. An additional two hires are planned to round it out to seven.
“I think my first task is to actively and strategically listen,” van der Oord said.
“To meet with many different stakeholders, from the exchange right through to the asset owners and their consultants, right through to financial advisers, to get a good gauge for what their requirements might be.”
On a personal level, the role is the kind of role van der Oord has been seeking for some time and is one where she will be able to use her varied industry experience.
She hit the ground running, and on her first day on the job was on a plane to Tokyo.
“I spent the first week there getting to know many of my colleagues in Asia Pac and also senior management,” she says.
She was also there to support the Tokyo ETF summit, which was been running for five years and, in an indication of the growing popularity of the sector in Asia, now has over 400 attendees from around the region.