The $52 billion health sector focused industry fund HESTA announced the appointment of Alan Sheen as head of portfolio management this week. Sheen comes direct from the private sector, leaving the absolute-return firm he founded, Dalton Street Capital, to add further depth and support HESTA’s ambitious growth plans.
Sheen will report directly to CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson and be tasked with leading operations across growth, defensive and unlisted assets, with a focus on managing both internal and externally ‘implemented’ portfolios. The announcement follows the board announcing an ambitious internalisation of its domestic equity capabilities by 2021 and cash and fixed interest by 2022.
The board is clearly seeking support for the CIO with Sheen’s experience “leading large teams to invest across a vast range of functions and asset classes” a key factor in the decision. The new hire comes with a distinguished career across the investing banking sector, including most recently at Credit Suisse. It is yet to be seen whether Sheen’s development of the Dalton Street systematic model of trading in the 1990s will influence the group’s equity approach going forward.
The CIO confirmed the fund will not be moving to full internalisation in its search for efficiency and cost reduction. The decision focused on “strengthening our internal team’s capabilities to manage in-house our significant and growing asset pool, while continuing to maintain great relationships with our investment partners.”
“HESTA is now embarking on the next evolution of sophisticated superannuation money management,” added Sheen. “I am looking forward to working with the entire HESTA team in guiding the growth of retirement savings for those members who care for us, our families and our communities through all life’s events.”
It is no doubt an interesting time for anyone to be ‘getting their feet under the desk’ and a busy few years ahead for the team at HESTA.