Robert Vaudry, Wesleyan
CIO of the year
Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2019 - UK & Europe

Since joining Wesleyan in February 2017 to head up the investments team, chief investment officer Robert Vaudry has transformed the firm's strategic approach and working culture.

This has resulted in an improvement of fund management practices and processes, and ultimately secured the potential for stronger performance. He has also made significant changes to the investment policies, in particular through the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

The Birmingham-based mutual provides financial services for doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers. It manages or administers close to £8bn of assets.

Vaudry said: "Since day one in my role, my aim has been to ensure that our fund managers and analysts continue to deliver the best possible returns for our clients, who are some of society's most trusted professionals, but to also raise our profile with them, Wesleyan's financial consultants, and the wider world."
After quickly embedding internal team improvements and gaining their support, Vaudry championed a programme of marketing and outreach activities featuring Wesleyan's fund managers and analysts, to improve investments knowledge and engagement levels among clients and colleagues (primarily financial consultants for the latter group).

Through multichannel communication projects, covering face-to-face, digital and offline activity, he and the wider team have been able to meet the insurers' customers, share knowledge and gain a real insight from those who choose to invest with Wesleyan.

Martin Lawrence, investment manager at Wesleyan, said: "The energy and passion that Robert has brought to us over the last 18 months has been invaluable. In a relatively short space of time, he has made exceptional progress in helping Wesleyan's financial consultants and, importantly, our clients to have a much greater understanding of what fund managers and the wider team strive to achieve on a day-to-day basis."

Judges were convinced by the evidence of Vaudry's impact and influence on Wesleyan. In particular they noted how he had improved communication and understanding of the investment offering with clients and advisors.