(pictured: Ronan Walsh)
Ronan Walsh, the general manager of investments at REST Industry Super, left the fund suddenly last Thursday after less than six months in the job. A search is underway for a replacement.
Walsh joined the $37 billion fund on December 7 after a six-month search, replacing the former general manager investments, Jo Townsend, who became chief executive of Funds SA in April last year. Townsend had been at REST for seven years.
In a statement late Friday confirming Walsh’s departure, Damian Hill, REST’s chief executive, said he regretted the departure and acknowledged the “significant contribution Ronan had provided to the REST executive and investment teams”. He said: “We wish Ronan well in his future endeavours.”
Notwithstanding its size and internal management of some of its investments, REST remains heavily influenced by its consultant, JANA Investment Advisors, which is understood to have grated on Walsh, who is said to have wanted to build up the internal management.
Ken Marshman, the REST chair, is a former chief executive of JANA and John Nolan, the consulting firm’s founder, is on the investment committee.
Prior to joining REST, Walsh had been the fixed interest portfolio manager at VicSuper for four years. REST was an early adopter of insourcing in fixed interest. Walsh had also been a portfolio manager at Russell Investments prior to that.