Mariner Financial has poached Russell Investment Group’s head of corporate super sales to spearhead its institutional business.

A spokesperson for Mariner confirmed James Panaretos would start in the newly-created position as head of institutional sales next Monday. “Mariner is thrilled to have secured someone of his calibre,” the spokesperson said. Russell was not available for comment. One observer decribed the role as a “;step up”; for Panaretos, given corporate super is a limited market nowadays. To date Mariner has focused chiefly on the retail market with a range of retirement income and property investment products. However, it is understood Panaretos will be responsible for promoting Mariner’s real estate products to the institutional market. As well as its local property business Mariner has substantial US real estate interests and late last month acquired four office buildings in Germany valued at EUR48 million (A$78.3 million). Mariner plans to list its German property trust on the ASX in the third quarter of this year. The group is also understood to be developing property portfolios in other parts of the world, including Japan. According to its website, Mariner has close $900 million under management across all its assets. Later this month Brent Cubis also joins Mariner as CFO. Cubis, whose appointment was announced in February, was formerly CFO at the Packer-owned Channel Nine network.

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