HESTA has revealed its first head of portfolio design under its new investment leadership structure.
Stephanie Weston has commenced in the role, which is the first of two new head appointments the fund declared in March.
It is yet to name its new head of portfolio management.
Chief investment officer Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said the appointment was a step in the fund’s push to build new teams and capabilities for direct management of a growing pool of assets.
“Our new investment leadership team structure is part of our ambitious and broad strategy to internalise asset management and continue delivering excellent performance for our members over the [long-term],” she said.
“Stephanie joins us as a seasoned leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the Australian financial market, bringing a breadth of knowledge and expertise gained from an impressive career spanning central banking, investment consulting and senior financial roles.”
Reporting directly to the CIO, Ms Weston will be held responsible for focusing on the top-down aspects of HESTA’s portfolios, including construction and risk analysis, economic and market research and strategic tilting.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said: “Stephanie’s appointment will enhance an already innovative and leading investment team that has strong plans for growth.
“We need the right blend of expertise, capability and seniority to foster the development and growth of the investments function and keep delivering strong returns for our members, especially as our fund size grows.”
Ms Weston has held a number of roles across financial services and joined HESTA after 15 years at the RBA, followed by CIO positions with AMP Life and Genworth Australia.
Prior to joining HESTA, she was also a member of AustralianSuper’s investment committee for five years.
Ms Weston said she was excited to be joining the team at HESTA.
“The current investment environment is challenging; so it is the right time to be focussing on overall portfolio design and thinking about how to optimise risk-adjusted returns,” she said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made me even more aware of how critical nurses and other service providers are to our communities. I am inspired to do the best I can to help HESTA’s members meet their retirement goals.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].