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Qontigo continues push to entice ETF issuers with latest hire

The index provider is looking to create tailormade ESG indices with more ETF issuers

Theo Andrew

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Qontigo has appointed Antonio Celeste as director of sustainability for product management from Amundi as it continues to build out its platform to create customised indices for ETF issuers.

Celeste (pictured) will report to Arun Singhal, head of index product management at Qontigo, and will work as part of the broader ESG approach across several departments as the firm looks to strengthen its relationship with asset owners.

It comes as the business has made several key hires over the past 12 months as it looks to build its ESG strategy “from the bottom up”.

This includes Vanguard’s former head of product for Asia Axel Lomholt, who was named as chief product officer last November, followed by Serkan Batir, former head of portfolio management, ETF and index investments across Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe at BlackRock, who joined as managing director of the DAX.

More recently, Qontigo appointed Stephane Degroote as global head of investible product sales from FTSE Russell responsible for building out the group’s relationships with ETF issuers to help “co-create” and “co-customise” indices.

Overseeing the project, Lomholt said: “We understand that clients have different needs and that one size does not fit all.

“As a result, we focus on ‘co-creating’ and ‘co-designing’ solutions with our clients to end up with tailor-made products that help solve their investment problems.”

He added clients are now demanding a customisation approach particularly related to climate, sustainable and thematic indices.

“Clients have responded very positively to our open architecture approach to working with external data providers – we can incorporate the best dataset into the index methodology to address very specific investment objectives, whether that is for a strategy on climate transition or a new thematic index concept,” he said.

Lomholt added the firm could hire a head of sustainability in the future but that it was “important to get the platform right first”.

This role was previously held by Rodolphe Bocquet who left the business after a year in the role to join Clarity AI last October.

Celeste joins having spent two years at Lyxor, and then Amundi, most recently as head of business development for their ETFs.

Prior to this, he was a sales director for ESG at Ossiam and spent almost seven years at Sustainalytics as managing director and head of sales for ESG.

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