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Cbus nabs portfolio specialist from AustralianSuper

By Jessica Penny
3 minute read

Financial services veteran Leigh Gavin has taken up a leadership role with the industry super fund.

Cbus Super has announced the appointment of Leigh Gavin to head of portfolio strategies, a newly created role.

Mr Gavin joins the fund from AustralianSuper, having served as head of investment model design since February 2022 after joining the fund’s total portfolio management team in 2021.

With AustralianSuper, Mr Gavin was responsible for providing advice and insights on investments and portfolios, frameworks for overseeing internal portfolios as well as the management, monitoring and control frameworks for investment performance, investment risk and cost.

Before this, Mr Gavin was chief investment officer at LUCRF Super from 2016 to 2021 and spent 14 years as principal consultant at Frontier Advisors.

He holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Melbourne, is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia), and has completed a graduate diploma of applied finance and investments, and a masters of applied finance and investments, both through Finsia.

According to a statement from Cbus on Friday, the head of portfolio strategies role was created to continue to drive the fund’s new five-year investment strategy, announced in May, which aims to manage 50 per cent of assets internally while also partnering on more major deals.

“Our objective is to be an innovative global, long-term investor, with total portfolio expertise and a focus on investing in the real economy,” Cbus chief executive officer Kristian Fok said at the time.

Commenting on Mr Gavin’s appointment, Cbus chief investment officer Brett Chatfield said: “This is a key appointment to assist in accelerating the fund’s internal equities capability, which currently manages around $7.7 billion in fundamental strategies, and we are delighted to secure Leigh for this role.”

“Leigh is highly regarded across the industry with a proven record of optimising portfolio outcomes. Leigh will also provide support across our broader internalisation program as well as key strategic portfolio initiatives and business management activities.”

Mr Gavin added: “Cbus is a highly regarded and high-performing fund. I look forward to joining the team at an exciting time in the execution of the fund’s strategy and growth in its internal capability, all focused on continuing to drive greater long-term returns for members.”

Last month, Cbus announced an 8.95 per cent return for its growth investment option during the 2022–23 financial year, with the fund now having $85 billion in member assets under management (AUM).

The result also took the fund’s rolling three-year average to 7.76 per cent and its average annual return since inception to 8.89 per cent.