Bruce Watson is to leave Mine Wealth + Wellbeing, the industry fund formerly known as AUSCOAL, after an association spanning 23 years, the last 10 as chief executive. He will look for his “next opportunity” towards the end of this year.
The fund has instituted a search for a replacement – either internal or external – following last week’s announcement from Watson, who has overseen the fund’s growth from having assets of $3.5 billion and 51,000 members when he became chief executive in 2005 to having assets of $10 billion and 74,000 members currently.
Watson said that he had achieved substantially more for the organisation than expected in the past 10 years and it was time to find the next opportunity “to create value through developing and aligning people with the organisation’s strategy”.
Grahame Kelly, the fund’s chair, said: “Bruce has positioned the recently rebranded fund for growth. Mine Wealth + Wellbeing now offers members and their families a range of innovative products and services which aim to support them as they grow through life. The Fund now focuses on both wealth and financial wellbeing outcomes, to ensure members have the best possible chance of securing the comfortable retirement they deserve.
“Bruce is as a highly competent, people-focused executive who has embedded a first class customer-centric culture within the business. He has underpinned this culture with the highest ethical standards and shared values. Thanks to his focus, members continually advocate on behalf of the fund, while staff have voted the organisation as a ‘Top 50 Great Place to Work in Australia’ every year for the last seven years.”
Watson joined the fund – then called CoalSuper – in 1992 as a member director before its merger with QCOS to create AUSCOAL Super, which became Mine Wealth + Wellbeing in July this year. He was elected as the inaugural chair of AUSCOAL after playing a key role in bringing the two principle coal industry super funds together as a merged entity. In 2005 he was appointed to CEO.
Of his many industry achievements for the fund, including 2009 SuperRatings Rising Star Award and 2015 Chant West Specialist Fund of the Year, Watson also won the Fund Executives Association Ltd’s coveted Fund Executive of the Year award in 2010.
Watson looks for next challenge