The $40 billion NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) has found a new head of investment operations in-house. In an appointment confirmed last week, Amy Hitchcock, previously NZS manager business solutions group, takes over the head of investment operations spot vacated by Nikki Bell.
Bell had a more than decade-long career at NZS, rising to the head of investment operations role in June 2017. According to a NZS statement: “As head of investment operations Amy will lead a team that manages the administration of the Fund through controls and oversight at the total portfolio level, net asset value reporting, post-trade lifecycle management, trade support for Portfolio Completion (Treasury), and liaison with the Fund’s key service providers, including its global custodian, external investment managers and counterparties.”
Earlier this month the NZS also launched a search for a new chief investment officer to replace Matt Whineray, who formally took over as chief executive from Adrian Orr in June after serving three months in an interim leadership role. Auckland-based firm Kerridge and Partners is conducting the CIO search on behalf of the NZS.
“A key task for the incoming CIO is to preserve the design and effectiveness of the investment framework while driving better integration across the Investment Heads and their teams, and incorporating new ideas,” the Kerridge job description says. “This reflects the need to sustain discipline as an investor but extend rigour to analysing competing risk and opportunity sets, making calls on asset allocation decisions and better integrating data into process.”
Kerridge has scheduled to complete the first round of CIO candidate selection by the end of September before compiling a short-list in early October. The new CIO should be in place by November.
Meanwhile, Auckland-headquartered boutique firm Devon Funds Management also bolstered its back-office resources last week, hiring Michelle Fotiades to a new position of operations manager.
Fotiades, who previously held similar roles at ASB and Goldman Sachs NZ, reports to Devon chief financial officer, Niall Hartigan.
Slade Roberston, Devon managing director, said Fotiades would lead the operations area as the business rolls out a range of digital tools.
“We are currently making a number of major investments in our business and we look forward to sharing a series of enhancements with our clients and professional partners as the implementation process unfolds,” Robertson said.
Earlier this month Devon launched a new ‘Investor Portal’, powered by MMC technology, that provides clients with “access to information about their investments on a timely basis”, he said.
– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ