Richard Smith, the long-time CIO and CEO of the $20 billion South Australian Government manager Funds SA, is to retire soon. Applications for the CEO role closed last Friday.
Smith was on leave last week, with John Piteo, the chief financial officer, acting as CEO. Smith will remain at Funds SA, after he returns from holiday, until a replacement is found.
He is one of just a handful of super fund CEOs who doubles as both CEO and CIO and the fund is casting its net widely, Piteo said, to fill the role. The search is being handled by the board.
Funds SA manages money for several South Australian Government funds including SA Police Super, the Metropolitan Fire Service, Motor Accident Commission, Ambulance Service, Cemeteries Authority and Super SA, which is the main scheme for government agencies in the state.
Since inception in 1995, the fund has returned 7.9 per cent a year – comfortably ahead of its 4 per cent inflation-adjusted target (about 5.3 per cent, average, ahead of inflation).
It is not known whether the replacement CEO will also endeavor to perform the CIO role as well, or recruit someone else for that. Funds SA has a solid internal team of six investment professionals overseeing its outsourced managers.