bfinance has appointed a Head of Investments and Research based in London and a new Senior Director of Client Consulting in Chicago

The senior hires follow the firm’s recently announced management buyout

London, Monday 6th March 2023: bfinance, the independent investment consultancy, has announced two new senior hires following the firm’s recent management buyout.

Olivier Cassin returns to the firm in the newly created role of Head of Investments and Research, having previously worked at bfinance from 2000 to 2014. He arrives from BNY Mellon, where he was Head of EMEA Client Solutions and previously managed the UK and European institutional sales team. In the new position, Cassin—who is based in the firm’s London office—will head up all research activities globally including manager selection across all asset classes, portfolio design, ESG advisory, risk analytics, monitoring and fee benchmarking. As well as overseeing the delivery and quality of the firm’s existing services, Cassin will also focus on new product innovation and supporting business development for next phase of the firm’s growth.

Meanwhile, the bfinance US client consulting team is strengthened with the Chicago-based appointment of David Ness as Senior Director. Ness brings more than 20 years of experience in investment management and financial services, most recently as Head of Institutional Investments at Crescent Grove Advisors. North America (US and Canada) has been a key growth area for bfinance in recent years: revenues relating to North American clients have increased by more than 300% since 2018, while the number of client engagements in this region has risen by 150%. Before joining bfinance, Ness launched the institutional business line for Crescent Grove Advisors and has held a variety of senior investment roles within BMO Global Asset Management and M&I Investment Management Corp.

These two appointments are among several strategically significant hires for bfinance as the firm embarks on its next phase of growth following a management buyout supported by Beach Point Capital Management. Staffing levels have expanded steadily through recent years, with particularly marked increases in Technology (where headcount has quadrupled since 2020), Portfolio Solutions and Private Markets.

David Vafai, Chief Executive Officer at bfinance, said: “I am pleased to welcome Olivier back into the bfinance family. He was pivotal in our early expansion, and it is a privilege to once again be able work with him in this exciting new post-MBO phase. I am also very happy that David Ness has decided to join our team to further expand our reach and capabilities in the US.”

Olivier Cassin, Head of Investments and Research at bfinance, said: “I am delighted to rejoin bfinance, a company that has grown so impressively over the past few years through the quality of its teams, the strength of its research and its total dedication to bringing clarity to sophisticated investors.”

David Ness, Senior Director Client Consulting at bfinance US, said: “I am thrilled at the opportunity to join the bfinance team. As an industry leading global investment consulting firm, bfinance has seen strong international growth. I believe the US market will quickly realize the breadth and depth of bfinance’s world class research and comprehensive investment acumen. I am honored to be part of such a hardworking team and look forward to continuing the global growth trajectory.”