Press Release

Universal Investment Group appoints John Burns as Chief Technology Officer


28. May 2024

  • John Burns will take on the newly created role on 1 June
  • He will be responsible for leading the Group’s technology strategy, driving innovation, and enhancing its future-proof platform

Universal Investment Group, a leading European fund services platform and Super ManCo, has appointed John Burns as its Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and a member of the executive board, effective June 1, 2024. In this newly created role, he will oversee all aspects of technology, including the strategic direction and enhancement of the Group’s IT platforms to propel continued growth and client-driven solutions.

John Burns

With nearly three decades of experience in digital innovation and integrated technology, John is widely recognised for his strategic leadership at the intersection of technology and the fund industry. John joins Universal Investment from DWS Group, where he most recently served as Global Head of Technology and Operations. In this role, he was instrumental in executing the company’s transformative technology strategy, with a strong focus on business alignment and cloud-based solutions to boost performance. Prior to this, John was Global Chief Technology Officer at Pioneer Investments. During his tenure, he was responsible for designing and spearheading business-enabling technology initiatives, while integrating teams and implementing IT solutions globally. John holds a bachelor’s degree and a PhD in chemistry from the University College of Dublin.

Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Universal Investment Group said, "I am delighted to welcome John Burns as our Chief Technology Officer. John’s extensive digital leadership experience and strategic capabilities, along with his deep understading of the fund industry, makes him an outstanding executive to take on this newly established role. His appointment underlines our commitment to ensuring an exceptional client experience by enhancing our robust technology platform. With John on board, we are well-positioned to drive technological innovation and scale as we continue to pursue sustainable growth for both our company and our valued clients.”

John Burns said: "I am thrilled to begin my journey with Universal Investment Group at this exciting time in the company’s trajectory. Universal Investment has always been dedicated to advancing its future-proof platform, and I look forward to partnering with the executive board and the talented technology teams across the Group to build on this momentum. As technology continues to reshape the fund industry with transformative possibilities, I am excited about the opportunity to unlock this potential together with my new colleagues, with the goal of accelerating innovation and delivering value to our clients.”

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Bernd Obergfell

Bernd Obergfell

Head of External Communications

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