Future Fund names CIO, mulls staff additions

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund has appointed a new chief investment officer amid a team restructuring. It is likely to add two posts to its investment team in the coming months.
Future Fund names CIO, mulls staff additions

Australia’s $94 billion sovereign wealth fund has promoted internally to fill the role of chief investment officer vacated by David Neal when he became managing director on August 4.

The Future Fund is also likely to add two investment posts to its 40-strong team in the next few months.

New CIO Raphael Arndt was previously head of infrastructure and timberlands. He has responsibility for leading the investment team in developing the research, due diligence and selection and monitoring processes for assets and investment managers.

This is part of a redistribution of duties. Stephen Gilmore, head of investment strategy, takes on additional responsibility for managing and monitoring total portfolio risk settings, while continuing to focus on portfolio design and understanding the macroeconomic and market environment.

Both Arndt and Gilmore report to Neal.

Gilmore is recruiting a senior additional person “to provide further depth and focus in our investment risk management and reporting capabilities”, said the spokesman.

The fund is also seeking a replacement for Arndt, and in the meantime Barry Brakey, head of property, will assume responsibility for the infrastructure and timberlands team on an acting basis.

A spokesman said the staff moves don’t mean there will be any changes to asset allocation. Arndt has been a member of the investment committee, which has overarching responsibility for the portfolio, for more than six years. In that capacity, he has had a perspective across asset classes.

The Future Fund invests entirely via external managers, and that will continue, the spokesman added. But it also has an internal team of investment professionals that works with external managers to assess and undertake opportunities and help draw insights from our partners that we can apply to the broader portfolio.

Arndt joined as head of infrastructure and timberlands in February 2008. His previous experience includes infrastructure and timberlands investment roles with Hastings Funds Management and a policy role with the Australian Council for Infrastructure Development.

Gilmore joined in 2009, was appointed head of strategy in 2010 and is a member of the investment committee. He previously worked in strategy roles in London and Hong Kong with AIG Financial Products and Morgan Stanley.

Prior to that, he worked with both the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The Future Fund posted 13.9% return in the year to June 30, as against its 7.5% target return (CPI + 4.5%), according to its provisional outcome for the 2013-14 year, published on August 4.

Its rough portfolio breakdown, as of June 30, 2013, was 38% in listed equities, 7% in private equity, 15% in tangible assets, 15% in credit, 16% in alternatives (predominantly hedge funds) and 9% in cash.

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