AustralianSuper has outlined a number of key changes to its investments leadership team, including combining its total portfolio management and asset allocation and research teams.
The combined team will be led by Alistair Barker, who has held senior investment positions at the fund since 2008 and is currently head of total portfolio management. He will now move to the new role of head of asset allocation.
According to AustralianSuper, this change will streamline its portfolio strategy and asset allocation activities and implement decisions over the short, medium and long term.
Current head of asset allocation and research Carl Astorri will return to the UK to take up the role of head of investments Europe to support AustralianSuper’s growing UK-based investment team as it continues to broaden its globalisation strategy.
A new chief liquidity officer position has also been introduced in acknowledgement of the important role that managing liquidity plays in delivering on the fund’s purpose for members.
AustralianSuper said that this role would be advertised in the market shortly, with head of capital markets Joris Hillmann acting as chief liquidity officer in the meantime.
Meanwhile, the Australian equities team will become a standalone function, which will continue to be led by head of Australian equities Shaun Manuell. This internal team now actively manages $57 billion of the $65 billion invested in the Australian equity market.
The super fund’s international equities and private equity teams will form another standalone group, with a new head of function set to be appointed. Michael Stavropoulos will act as head of international equities in the interim.
Due to these changes, current head of equities Justin Pascoe will depart AustralianSuper after nearly three and a half years, including two years as senior portfolio manager.
Mark Delaney thanked Mr Pascoe for his contribution to the fund and said that he had been an important member and contributor to the investments leadership team.
“He was instrumental in accelerating the internalisation of our equities portfolio and rapid expansion of our private equity capability, including building out our PE team in New York,” said Mr Delaney.
“His tireless efforts and commitment to members have helped lay the foundation for our future growth and leave the fund well placed for the future.”
AustralianSuper noted that the aforementioned changes were part of a broader organisation review to ensure that it is best placed to manage its expected growth over the next decade.
The super fund is forecast to increase its member assets under management to $500 billion over the next five years from $263 billion currently.
“As we grow, we will continue our internalisation strategy, increase our deployment of funds globally and look for new and innovative ways to deliver returns and drive down costs for members,” Mr Delaney said.
‘These important changes lay the foundation for this future and leave us well placed to manage the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.