The NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) has remodeled its managerial ranks ahead of the impending retirement of long-time finance head, Stewart Brooks, in a move that adds a new space at the top table.
Brooks, who joined NZS in 2003, will formally step down as general manager finance and risk on July 5 with the executive line-up to be overhauled at the same time. However, he will remain working with NZS on various projects post his official departure date.
According to a NZS spokesperson, his decision to resign “provided an opportunity to consider the Leadership Team structure in order to bolster the voice of risk and to increase our focus on technology and data”.
As of July 5 both Brooks’ role and the general manager operations position will be “disestablished” in exchange for three new titles covering technology, risk and, finance and investment operations.
New hire, ASB Bank chief internal auditor, Paula Steed, will take on the finance and investment operations job while Mark Fennell, currently NZS general manager portfolio completion, assumes the risk position.
Incumbent general manager operations, David Sara, will be “redeployed” to the new top technology role.
Matt Whineray, NZS chief, said in a statement: “I’m excited to add Paula to the team and am looking forward to the new ideas and perspectives she will bring to the Guardians. Mark’s appointment will contribute significant institutional knowledge and experience to the key role of GM Risk and help strengthen our focus on enterprise and portfolio risk management.”
The now $56 billion plus fund will soon start recruiting for the portfolio completion jobs to be vacated by Fennell on July 5.
Meanwhile, NZS has at least seven other roles up for grabs including the head of asset allocation and, NZ equities manager, jobs held by David Iverson and Sam Porath, respectively, until the end of last year. Iverson and Porath decamped to the Accident Compensation Corporation this January to run the newly installed ‘strategic tilting’ program for the $51 billion fund.
The NZS executive reshuffle comes as new chair, Catherine Drayton, officially takes the reins. Drayton replaced Catherine Savage, who ended her 10-year stint on the NZS Guardians board at the end of March.