The $60 billion industry fund has made the appointment as it looks to build on its “ambitious” internalisation program to shift investment management in-house in 2022.
Stephen Howard will join HESTA as general manager for defensives. Mr Howard brings more than 20 years’ experience in financial services to the role, including over 10 years at Vanguard where he held the role of APAC head of fixed income and “significantly and strongly” increased FUM.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve witnessed first-hand the critical role health care providers play within our community. I’m thrilled to be joining HESTA and to have the opportunity to help our members achieve their investment and retirement savings goals,” Mr Howard said.
The appointment comes as HESTA embarks on an “ambitious” internalisation program to be implemented in Australian equities in 2021 and underway in cash and fixed-interest asset classes in 2022. The program has seen a revamped leadership structure that saw Stephanie Weston join the fund in 2020 as its new head of portfolio design.
“Stephen will be leading the next phase of our internalisation journey, as we move to internally manage fixed interest and cash instruments. It’s exciting to have Stephen come on board as he has a proven track record of investing significant portfolios, managing highly successful teams and leading strategic thinking,” said HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson.
Mr Howard commences on May 3.