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RIAA transitions to new leadership under co-CEOs

4 minute read

Two current RIAA executives will jointly take over as co-CEOs upon the departure of longstanding chief executive Simon O’Connor next month.

The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has announced the appointment of Estelle Parker and Dean Hegarty as co-CEOs.

Ms Parker and Mr Hegarty, who currently serve as executive managers at RIAA, will jointly take over as co-CEOs upon the departure of current CEO Simon O’Connor next month. The move will result in dual CEO representation in Australia and New Zealand.

According to RIAA, Ms Parker and Mr Hegarty have demonstrated exceptional leadership in advancing a more responsible and sustainable financial system as executive managers and have been instrumental in the association’s growth and impact

“The RIAA board is very pleased to announce the appointment of two proven and highly skilled executives as co-CEOs,” said RIAA chair Ross Piper.

“Estelle and Dean bring deep market knowledge, strong program delivery and commercial skills, as well as having demonstrated their leadership and expertise in responsible investment across our markets.”

Mr O’Connor, who has served as CEO for more than 10 years, informed the RIAA board that he would transition out of the role in June this year.

Mr Piper indicated that the co-CEO transition aligns with a comprehensive approach to ensure a cohesive and diverse leadership structure for RIAA.

“Building on their deep existing relationships with our members and across other partners and government, Estelle and Dean’s collaboration is envisioned to provide solid momentum for advancing RIAA’s mission and strategy during a pivotal time for the sector’s growth,” he said.

During her time at RIAA, Ms Parker has led the expansion and growth of the RIAA Certification Program and is said to have been instrumental in leading external engagements.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Parker said: “I am absolutely thrilled to take on this role, alongside my colleague, Dean Hegarty.”

“We are both entirely committed to RIAA as an organisation, and what we can achieve together with RIAA’s large, growing and influential member base, as well as the various First Nations, environment and civil society organisations RIAA partners with.

“And of course, our fantastic board and very talented team. Dean and I have a great working relationship – it makes perfect sense to take this – along with RIAA as an organisation – to the next level as co-CEOs. It’s the perfect model for RIAA at this time.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hegarty, who was RIAA’s first New Zealand-based executive, is said to have played a pivotal role in enhancing the association’s presence and activity in both Australia and New Zealand and has continued to substantial growth and organisational changes.

Responding to his appointment, Mr Hegarty said it was an incredible privilege to have the opportunity to lead the organisation.

“We have a community of passionate members and with the support of our dedicated staff and board, I cannot wait to continue the work collectively driving RIAA’s mission,” he said.

“It is especially exciting to have the chance to serve in the role alongside my colleague Estelle Parker, who I have been lucky enough to work closely with and learn so much from over the past three years.”

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

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.