(Pictured: David Hartley)
by Greg Bright
Sunsuper has lifted the pace in building its in-house investment capabilities, with the recent recruitment of five investment professionals. David Hartley, the CIO, said: “It’s all about getting closer to our assets”.
The $30 billion fund is building a middle-and-back office capability through improved risk reporting, mandate monitoring and securities lending.
The new investment management people are Alastair Sloan and Greg Barnes. Sloan takes on the new position of head of dynamic asset allocation (DAA) and Barnes the position of head of listed shares, both Australian and international. They take the total number of investment professionals at Sunsuper to 20, all based in Sydney. The Queensland-based multi-industry fund now has more than 50 people in its Sydney office and is planning to move to larger premises in the CBD soon.
The new investment operations people are very experienced, of high calibre and well known to the market, Lounarda David, the head of investment operations, said. Norman Leung was recruited from NSW Treasury Corporation but before that was at BNP Paribas and Simon Cairns was also at BNP Paribas but before that at BNY Mellon. Cairns ran the performance analytics area at BNY Mellon which was shut down in the latest round of cost cutting at that firm. Michael Nightingale was recruited from QIC.
David was appointed to her role in April this year. She said last Friday that she was hopeful of recruiting some more investment operations people to the team as Sunsuper built out its capabilities to “support our strategic growth plans”.
Hartley said the fund was looking for a broader perspective as well as gaining more control over the assets. His two new recruits also had a lot of experience in funds management, he said. Barnes was most recently at RHB Banking Group in Singapore but is a former head of active Australian equities at AMP Capital, and Sloan was an FX strategist at NAB and before that ran his own global macro hedge fund.
Sloan will work closely with Corrin Collocott, Sunsuper’s head of investment strategy, looking for sources of added value within DAA. He will also contribute to the strategies of the other teams. Collocott has been with Sunsuper for more than eight years and before that was a senior asset consultant.
Sloan’s appointment may signal an interesting trend because several big international managers have been trying to sell DAA services to funds in Australia for the past two years, with little success. It may be that funds prefer not to outsource this particular capability.
Incidentally, BNY Mellon has replaced both its regional head of securities servicing and its Australian country head for the bank, Danny McCready, in the past 12 months. The new Australian head is Craig Mason, an internal appointment. He headed up the Pershing subsidiary. The world’s largest custodian also, last year, made redundant the position of head of securities services sales, formerly held by 20-plus-year BNY executive Brian Slade.
Lounarda David said Sunsuper was putting more of its focus on getting additional value out of its various investment processes and systems, rather than replicating what other people could do. It was also working on “investment leakage management” for added value, she said. David headed up specialist custody and transitions consultancy Mercer Sentinel in the region for many years.
Hartley said that while Sunsuper wanted more control over its assets it did not have the appetite to insource the direct trading of securities.