LP advisor takes independent director route

Richard Urban has left the UK’s Cardano, where he oversaw £1 billion of real estate and real asset investments on behalf of mainly European pension plans, to provide independent non-executive director services      

Richard Urban has departed Cardano, the UK-based manager to predominantly European pension plans, in order to start a new venture. Urban, who joined the firm six years ago in October 2008 in order to establish and lead its global real estate and real assets investment program, is setting up in the offshore location of Jersey, where he will provide the fund management industry with independent non-executive director services, he said.

The well-known advisor, who oversaw more than £1 billion (€1.26 billion; $1.6 billion) of client capital, said in a statement: “In response to deficiencies highlighted during the global financial crisis, investors and regulators increasingly are demanding that fund managers demonstrate a robust approach to corporate governance and a commitment to effective risk management. As part of the enhanced due diligence process to which fund managers are now subject, the composition of fund boards is coming under intense scrutiny. Not only is there a growing requirement for board members to be independent, but they also must be able to demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and experience to understand complex assets and strategies.”

Urban added that Jersey was a preferred offshore destination because it is one of the world’s leading financial centers. “I anticipate that the majority of appointments will be to Jersey-based boards, where local substance is required,” he said. “However, as fund managers across different sectors and geographies seek to strengthen their risk management processes, appointments also will come from jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Luxembourg.”