Qontigo has appointed former BlackRock head of portfolio management across Eastern Europe Serkan Batir as managing director of the DAX, just over a year after Germany’s flagship index underwent major changes following the Wirecard scandal.

Batir will be responsible for strategic initiatives related to Germany’s flagship index and will report to the firm’s recently appointed chief product officer (CPO) for indices and benchmarks, Axel Lomholt.

In his 13-year career at BlackRock, he held several senior positions, most recently head of portfolio management for Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as head of product management for Germany.

Batir was responsible for trading and managing German and Swiss domiciled index funds across various asset classes including equities, fixed income and physical and synthetic commodities.

Prior to this, he spent three years at UniCredit Bank AG as an equity derivatives trader in the firm’s propriety quantitative trading hedge fund.

Commenting on the appointment, Lomholt said: “In this key new role, he will help to shape Qontigo’s indexing strategy in the German market, expand the range of DAX’s ESG offerings overall, and lead the management and strategic development of the DAX business on a day-to-day basis.”

The move comes after the DAX index expanded from 30 to 40 companies after absorbing the 10 largest companies from the MDAX benchmark in September, concluding the “biggest reform” in its 33-year history.

The review process began in summer 2020 alongside other reforms, including a tightening of corporate governance rules on the back of the accounting misconduct of former DAX constituent Wirecard.