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2024 will be ‘a critical year for super’, says HESTA CEO

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The $77 billion fund has reported a double-digit annual return from its balanced growth investment option for the calendar year 2023.

HESTA has reported an annual return of 10.46 per cent for its balanced growth investment option for the 2023 calendar year.

In a post on LinkedIn, chief executive Debby Blakey called the result an “outstanding” outcome for HESTA’s members and a “top-tier result” compared to the fund’s peers.

Additionally, the fund’s balanced growth option returned 7.4 per cent per annum over a 10-year period to 31 December.

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“These results are testament to the entire HESTA team, who every day go above and beyond to bring our robust investment strategy to life,” Ms Blakey wrote on LinkedIn.

“These results also remind me of the true strength of our nation’s $3.5 trillion super system. For 30 years compulsory super has given working Australians exposure to high-quality assets around the world – resilient and responsive portfolios that can perform through ever-changing market conditions.”

Moving forward, the $77 billion fund is dedicated to maintaining agility, ensuring its ability to respond effectively to market fluctuations, she emphasised.

"While there’s still some way to go until the end of the financial year, I believe HESTA’s excellent 2023 calendar year result indicates our own investment portfolio is well-positioned for years to come," said Ms Blakey.

“We’re poised to take advantage of any short-term volatility that may emerge. We’ve reduced our exposure to some risk assets while continuing to build liquidity that helps ensure we’re ready to take advantage of attractive long-term buying opportunities,” Ms Blakey wrote.

Additionally, HESTA, which was named as one of the Responsible Super Fund Leaders in 2023 by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), highlighted the energy transition as an important area in which it sees opportunities to create long-term investment value.

“The energy transition is an area where we see opportunities for impact as a long-term responsible investor, particularly as we’ve committed to investing 10 per cent of our portfolio in climate solutions by 2030,” Ms Blakey said.

“Aligned with our focus on climate action, we’ve deployed capital into various investment opportunities with the appropriate risk-return profiles, including green bonds.

“This can help us continue delivering strong long-term investment performance while supporting the shift to a low-carbon economy.”

Ultimately, Ms Blakey said, “2024 is going to be a critical year for super”.

“Super funds have a unique opportunity as custodians of our world-class super system to help make it even stronger for future generations. It’s a privilege to start the year with this shared focus on how we can make a lasting difference for our members and the millions of working Australians who depend on super to deliver a dignified, equitable retirement.”

Last week, $75 billion fund Rest also revealed its calendar year results of 9.5 per cent for its flagship core strategy investment option.

2024 will be ‘a critical year for super’, says HESTA CEO

The $77 billion fund has reported a double-digit annual return from its balanced growth investment option for the calendar year 2023.

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.

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