FM Investors chief executive to retire after a decade

Brett Himbury

IFM Investors chief executive Brett Himbury has announced his retirement from executive roles, effective December 2020.

IFM Investors is a global funds management business which is owned by 27 industry super funds. It manages $148 billion from industry super funds, pension funds and aligned investors in Australia and 22 other countries.

Himbury said the business was in an exceptionally strong position to continue delivering superior retirement outcomes for working people around the world.

“The recent release of the tenth set of annual results during my time as chief executive was not only a source of immense pride, but also the opportunity to reflect on the past and consider my future.

“Our member-first purpose has driven superior performance. Over 10 years, our shareholder return to industry super funds has been 17.8 per cent – nearly double the ASX 200 average. We’ve been able to achieve this by recognising that if we first serve our members, strong shareholder returns will follow – rather than the other way around.”

Himbury has held executive roles for 38 years, including 15 as a CEO. During the remainder of his tenure he will work closely with the IFM Investors team and board to facilitate a smooth transition.

Greg Combet AM, chair of IFM Investors said: “Under Brett’s leadership IFM Investors has delivered extraordinary returns to millions of Australian industry super fund members, and millions more workers through their pension funds.”

A global search for the next chief executive will commence shortly.

AustralianSuper board appoints independent fund chair

Don RussellHeather Ridout

Dr Don Russell has been appointed as the new independent chair of AustralianSuper.

Dr Russell joined the AustralianSuper board in May and takes over from Heather Ridout, who has been chair from 2013 after joining the board in 2007.

“It is a great honour to be chosen by the board to be chair of AustralianSuper,” Dr Russell said.

He praised Ridout’s contribution to AustralianSuper over the past 12 years as a board member and chair and said: “Heather has been an exemplary AustralianSuper chair and has played a vital role in guiding the fund to be the biggest in the country.”

“She has deftly and expertly led AustralianSuper during a period of extraordinary growth, and under her leadership the fund has delivered excellent outcomes for members. The board is delighted that Heather will continue with the fund as a member of the investment committee.”

AustralianSuper chief executive, Ian Silk, said the fund was fortunate to have Dr Russell as its new chair.

“Don has an extraordinary range of experience in both the private and public sectors and he also has a very deep understanding of the superannuation system and its role in the Australian economy. His broad and deep experience in both finance and public sector policy development will serve AustralianSuper members well.”

Silk paid tribute to Ridout’s pivotal role in the development of AustralianSuper into a global investor and thanked her for her tireless efforts.

Businessman John Dixon has also been appointed to the AustralianSuper board as a representative of the Ai Group. He has more than 30 years as a senior executive in the transport and logistics sector with Redstar Transport, Silk Logistics and the Skilled Group.

Mercer appoints partner to institutional wealth team

Tim Jenkins
Mercer has announced the appointment of Tim Jenkins as a partner in its institutional wealth team. He will deliver strategic consulting advice to superannuation funds, including advising on changes to insurance and member outcome requirements.

Having previously spent 28 years with Mercer in senior executive roles across the UK, Asia and the Pacific, Jenkins returns to the consultancy from Rice Warner where he held the role of executive general manager, superannuation. Prior to this, he was at the National Australia Bank where he led the corporate superannuation product management team and established a new team responsible for the management of insurance within NAB’s superannuation funds.

Mercer Australia CEO Ben Walsh said clients would benefit greatly from Jenkins’ knowledge and perspective drawn from 30-plus years in superannuation and financial services.

Qantas Super appoints new chief risk officer

Suzette Thurman

Qantas Super has appointed risk and compliance executive Suzette Thurman to the newly created role of chief risk officer. Thurman joins Qantas Super after 13 years at First State Super, where she is the fund’s group executive, risk & compliance.

First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart said: “Suzette has made a significant contribution to First State Super and she leaves with the gratitude and respect of the board and her colleagues.”

Qantas Super CEO Michael Clancy said Thurman’s appointment reinforced Qantas Super’s continued focus on risk and compliance for the benefit of members.

“Suzette is a highly talented and accomplished risk executive, evidenced by her twenty-five-year track record of building and implementing robust risk frameworks in the financial services sector.

“This year Qantas Super is celebrating its 80th anniversary, and as the only aviation corporate super fund in Australia, we’re delighted that Suzette will help set the course to deliver for our unique member base in the years to come,” he said.

Thurman will report directly to Michael Clancy when she starts in December 2019.

Aberdeen Standard Investments announces ESG regional appointment

Danielle Welsh-Rose

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has strengthened its Australian and Asia-Pacific ESG capabilities with the appointment of Danielle Welsh-Rose as ESG investment director with regional responsibilities.

Danielle has more than 17 years’ experience in ESG leadership roles and has joined ASI from the Victorian Funds Management Corporation, where she was head of ESG. She reports to Euan Stirling, ASI’s Edinburgh-based global head of stewardship and ESG investment for functional responsibilities and to Brett Jollie, managing director – Australia for business matters.

Stirling said: “We are delighted Danielle has joined our ESG Investment team, which is growing in importance, as we continue tomove ESG considerations further up the investment agenda in the Asia-Pacific region.”

AMP appoints a dedicated group whistleblowing officer

AMP Limited has appointed Anne-Marie Paterson as its group whistleblowing officer as it invests $100 million (pre-tax) over two years above usual investment to further strengthen its risk, governance and controls.

Paterson is a senior legal practitioner who has joined AMP from CBA where she was the executive manager and whistleblower investigation officer. At AMP she is responsible for leading whistleblower awareness, training and investigations across the business.

Paterson’s appointment is the latest initiative to improve risk management and governance across AMP.

AMP chief risk officer Jenny Fagg said: “Risk has been placed at the core of AMP’s culture and further enhancing risk management, governance and compliance continues to be a key initiative under AMP’s new strategy. We have appointed Anne-Marie Paterson as our Group Whistleblowing Officer in recognition of how seriously we take whistleblowing and to help people feel comfortable speaking up.

“We have also made significant progress to overhaul our governance and organisational structures to create better independence and oversight of issues. Our activity has focused on improving policies, processes and systems and increasing the use of technology to create efficiencies.”