14 Dec 2021 3 min read

It's the time of year for the Asset Allocation Christmas charity fund-raising effort. This year we are raising money for Pinckney Ward, a specialist paediatric ward at St George's Hospital that helped a teammate’s baby daughter get through the difficult first year of her life and offered outstanding support to the family.

I think it is fair to say we all feel a bit tired of 2021 and the never-ending Groundhog Day: working from home, home-schooling, cancelled holidays, testing, self-isolation and lockdowns.

To break the grind, LGIM’s Asset Allocation team recently had its first “team day” since the start of the pandemic. All teammates who tested negative in the morning came together in the office – a day of working like it was 2019.

We had a blast. The buzz in the office felt like we were kids on their first day of school: excited, curious, loud and sometimes clueless. We used the day well: we did a group training session and caught up in person with old friends and new teammates; some of them had not even experienced a normal day in the office before!

Although markets were calm that day, the energy and noise on the investment floor felt like we were in the middle of a flash crash, a Brexit vote or a Lehman bankruptcy!

We also used the day to shoot our traditional Christmas charity video. It’s the fifth sequel. It is a great way to bond, a nice way of giving back to society as we are all privileged in our own way, and it is unbelievably good fun to do as well.

This year, the more on-trend members of the team came up with an idea that apparently goes viral on something called TikTok (please ask your kids for further clarification): the Rock-Paper-Scissors Water Balloon challenge. Our video is our show of support, a silly game that we hope will entice you to donate money. Just because it is a good thing to do.

We have chosen to raise money for the Pinckney Ward at St George’s Hospital. We hope our contribution can change lives and help more children and parents who go through the ordeal of possibly life-threatening diseases. Please donate here.

Asset Allocation balloon challenge

Skye’s story

Tesch’s daughter, Skye, was born at the beginning of last year. Despite a dramatic arrival, she was otherwise healthy. By day two she was home with her older brother and sister. At four days old she stopped breathing, went blue and limp. Her parents managed to resuscitate her and soon she was in A&E. Over the next few days Skye became increasingly lethargic, waking for just a couple of minutes each day and repeatedly falling unconscious.

As her condition continued to deteriorate, she was moved to intensive care at one week old. She was diagnosed with viral meningitis, and with the right support to aid her fight she started to get better. As the outlook began to look hopeful, further tests revealed the damage the virus had caused to her body. Amongst other things, she was diagnosed with myocarditis – an inflammation of the heart, with a very high mortality rate in infants.

Skye was transferred to a specialist cardiac centre where she was put on medication that eased the burden on her heart to give it an opportunity to recover. She continued to fight hard, eventually staying awake for 30 minutes or more.

In her first three months she visited seven hospitals and had numerous tests but continued to get better and was discharged home. Skye is now turning two, she is happy, healthy, and extremely cheeky. She continues to go back to hospital regularly for check-ups and will be under observation until she is 18.

Skye’s life was saved in crucial moments: the rapid response of the paramedic team, an A&E doctor unwilling to give up on her despite it being hours after the end of his shift, and the specialist care of the hospitals she visited. She spent the most time on the Pinckney Ward at St George’s, and it also felt like the ward that would benefit most from donations to help its patients and their families.

We hope we can make a few lives better and support the great work of St George’s Hospital. Please visit our JustGiving page here.

Emiel van den Heiligenberg

Head of Asset Allocation

Emiel is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the team’s investment and business strategy. He claims to have been a promising lightweight rower at university until French fries got the better of him. Reflecting his love for rowing in a team, he firmly believes that excellence can only be achieved by a great team made up of motivated individuals that are also eager to work together. To this end he is the self-proclaimed inventor of the verb 'teaming' to acknowledge that shaping a top team and culture of excellence is an ongoing process. Outside of work-family obligations, Emiel’s spare time is filled by a passion for shark diving and skiing. Prior to dedicating his career to portfolio management in 1996, Emiel worked as a policy adviser in the Dutch Ministry of Finance and he graduated from Tilburg University in the Netherlands ages ago. When not glued to his Bloomberg screens, this Dutch man is hooked on computer games, peanut butter and his favourite dark beer made by Belgian monks.

Emiel van den Heiligenberg

Christopher Teschmacher

Fund Manager

Chris is something of a perfectionist which may explain the raft of automated spreadsheets ensuring charts are properly formatted to Teschmacher® standards. Having become the resident quiz master, he keeps his colleagues on their toes with a steady stream of investment trivia. This worldly Dutchman has wanderlust in his blood – he was born in Australia and has lived in London, New York and Paris. He has since settled in London with his young family, although regular trips to the South of France suggest that ambitions to become a vineyard owner are still strong.

Christopher Teschmacher