Aussie marketers take note: NZ Super’s new queen

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The NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) has gone for an in-house promotion to replace the recently-resigned head of external investments and partnerships, Fiona Mackenzie.

In a release last week the NZS confirmed Mackenzie’s understudy, Del Hart, in the position first advertised in October.

Hart will be responsible for NZS “investment mandates with approximately 30 external managers, covering NZD6.5b of assets in listed and unlisted markets globally”, the statement says.

She reports to chief investment officer, Matt Whineray, while also claiming a seat on the NZS investment committee.

Mackenzie will take up the newly-created role as head of direct wealth at broking firm FNZC early next year.

Prior to her promotion Hart served as portfolio manager external investments and partnerships from April last year after joining the NZS in September 2010. She began her NZS career as portfolio manager unlisted mandates following an almost four-year stint with Russell Investments NZ in a client services role ending May 2009.

Hart entered the financial industry as a business development manager with Tower Managed Funds in 1997 before spending five years as a risk manager at the London office of Switzerland-headquartered firm Pictet Asset Management.

Her appointment will also maintain the gender status quo in the upper echelons of NZS.

The 2017 NZS annual report revealed a ‘gender pay gap’ of about 37 per cent, primarily due to an overweight male allocation at senior levels.

In a statement this October, the NZS said the gender imbalance in top-ranking investment jobs was an industry-wide issue reflecting the predominance of men applying for those roles.

The NZS statement notes there was “no shortage of female candidates for early-career roles”.

“This indicates that while women are entering the industry, the industry has not done a good enough job of retaining women and bringing them through into higher paid jobs,” the statement says.

As at the end of October the NZS reported funds under management of $37.2 billion after returning 2.62 per cent for the month and almost 22.3 per cent over the 12-month period. The fund has a large exposure to global equities (66 per cent) primarily via passive mandates.

In a speech last week, new Labour Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, also confirmed government contributions to NZS – paused in 2009 – would “re-commence within the [first 100 days of the new administration]”.

– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ

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