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Steven Semczyszyn

Super fund restructures leadership, internalises investment

By Reporter
3 minute read

An industry superannuation fund has rolled out a new investment leadership structure and has started developing an internalised Australian equities function.

HESTA has commenced the changes, including an internalisation program for Australian equities, due to be implemented by next year, with cash and fixed interest classes to be underway in 2022. 

Former JCP Investment Partners chief investment officer and executive director Steven Semczyszyn has been appointed to lead the program, in the role of general manager – growth assets. 

Further, HESTA has commenced recruitment for two new positions: heads of portfolio management and portfolio design. 

The fund’s chief investment officer Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said the program was part of a strategy to drive cost efficiencies and build capacity to support long-term investment performance.

“These changes mark the start of an exciting new chapter for our investment team,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.

“Our forward strategy embraces a hybrid model – combining internal management alongside the best external asset management partners the world has to offer – to manage a growing and significant pool of assets.”

Both of the heads of portfolio management and portfolio design roles will report directly to the CIO. The head of portfolio design will focus on the top-down aspects of the portfolio, including portfolio construction and risk analysis, economic and market research, and strategic tilting. Meanwhile the portfolio management head will lead internal and implemented teams across growth, unlisted and defensive market segments.

“These roles will have pivotal leadership responsibilities, helping deliver the overall investment program and portfolio strategy, and will enhance an innovative, leading investment team with strong plans for growth in capability and capacity,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.

On Mr Semczyszyn’s appointment, she said he was a strong addition to the team, with more than 20 years’ asset management experience. 

“Steven brings unique insights drawn from more than 20 years’ experience building talented teams to manage large pools of assets across different equity strategies and will lead the development and implementation of the external and direct growth investment strategy,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.

Mr Semczyszyn added he is looking to extend upon the fund’s commitment to responsible investing and quantitative capability.

“I am excited to join HESTA during the next phase in the growth of its investment team as it builds its investment equities capability,” he said.

The company is also seeking to add to its new portfolio design team, currently recruiting for a general manager – strategic tilting who will be responsible for managing dynamic asset allocation, rebalancing and overlay processes.

They will be working with the investment execution team to manage and minimise execution risks while ensuring portfolios are responsive to market conditions and opportunities.