(pictured: David O’Sullivan)
David O’Sullivan, the long-serving chief executive of BUSSQ, and Linda Vickers, the fund’s chief operating officer, are to embark on new roles in a planned expansion of the executive team at the fund.
The $3 billion Queensland-based fund for building and construction industries, which has about 90,000 members, will split the chief executive and chief investment officer role, which O’Sullivan has adopted for more than 11 years, since he joined the fund. He has elected to become chief investment officer, befitting his professional background.
O’Sullivan was a principal and investment consultant at Mercer for six years prior to joining BUSSQ in January 2005 and before that was head of investment consulting at Sedgwick Noble Lowndes, where he worked in investments for 10 years.
Linda Vickers will become the new chief executive, probably in October. The fund has advertised for a new chief operating officer to fill her current role.
“We’ve been thinking through succession planning at the fund,” O’Sullivan said last week. “We have also been thinking about having a dedicated CIO. I turned 60 last year and my background is investments… It’s what I enjoy most.”
Ironically, when O’Sullivan became head of investment consulting at the former Sedgwick Noble Lowndes, an insurance broker which had an influential asset consulting practice on the side in Australia, he took over from Jon Glass. Glass was made redundant as CIO of Media Super in 2014 after five years at the fund to make way for a combination of the CIO and CEO role, filled by Graeme Russell.
This appears to be a new philosophical question for smallish not-for-profit funds: do you concentrate on cost reductions and efficiencies in governance or try to improve returns, or both? And, is it possible to do both?