Chief investment officer of the year - James Millard (Hiscox)
In the long tradition of poachers who've become gate keepers, Hiscox's James Millard joined the company as group chief investment officer (CIO) in January 2020 from Aberdeen Standard Investment (ASI).
But there is a twist in the tail, because, despite his stint in the asset management business, Millard was never too far from the asset owners' world, having been director of investments at Old Mutual Global Investors and then at Old Mutual Wealth, both affiliates of the insurer Old Mutual, as well as managing life and pension assets for Standard Life.
From the outside, the timing of Millard's appointment couldn't have been more fateful– as he took the helm of the group's $6.4bn assets, what was not yet a pandemic was gathering pace and momentum, and was about to hit markets like an Atlantic hurricane.
But as a Bermuda headquartered group, hurricane may not seem as daunting for Hiscox. And for the first full year at least, he rode out the storm, with Hiscox reporting investment returns of $198m in FY 2020.
With a focus on maintaining liquidity and managing risks, Millard has led Hiscox's diversification into a broad spectrum of investment types. Meanwhile, assets under management have grown to $7.4bn as at 30 September 2021.
And Millard also brought with him his personal commitment to sustainability: he became the ESG executive sponsor for the group from January 2021, and since October 2020 sits on the investment committee of Clim8 Invest, an online investment platform aiming for tangible environmental impact.
For all these effort, judges award Millard the CIO of the year award.
Category sponsored by