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HESTA investment committee chair to depart

By Keith Ford
2 minute read

Industry super fund HESTA has announced that its investment committee chair will leave the board as his term comes to an end.

HESTA said that independent director Mark Burgess would exit the board when his term finishes at the end of June.

Chief executive Debby Blakey said Mr Burgess was part of a period of significant growth at the fund.

“When Mark joined us, we were appointing a new CIO and were embarking on a bold and exciting vision for the future of investments at HESTA,” Ms Blakey said.

“Mark has been a much-valued source of insight and guidance over many years that’s supported us to keep building the capacity of our investment team to deliver strong, long-term investment performance for our more than 1 million members in the years ahead.”

HESTA chair Nicola Roxon added that Mr Burgess had overseen a period of change at the $70 billion industry fund.

“As the inaugural chair of HESTA’s investment committee, Mark has helped guide the realisation of our investment strategy that’s seen us continue as a leading global investor delivering strong, competitive, long-term returns for members,” Ms Roxon said.

“I’d like to thank Mark for his contribution that’s continued to build on the fund’s focus on investment excellence with impact and strong track record of performance.”

In anticipation of the end of Mr Burgess’s term, the fund began the recruitment process last year. HESTA said it is finalising the appointment, which is due to start from 1 July 2023, and is to replace Mr Burgess on both the HESTA board as an independent director and to chair the investment committee.

Since joining the Fund, Mr Burgess has helped oversee the development of HESTA’s first Climate Change Transition Plan. This saw HESTA in 2020 become the first major Australian super fund to announce an ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its portfolio. 

The fund has subsequently lifted its target from a 33 per cent reduction in emissions to a 50 per cent reduction in normalised emissions by 2030 (against a 2020 baseline).