After 14 years at the helm of First State Super, CEO Michael Dwyer has announced his decision to retire towards the end of this year.

Deanne Stewart, CEO of MetLife’s Australian life insurance business since 2014, will succeed Michael as CEO and take up the role when Michael steps down in November.

Michael was appointed CEO in 2004 when the fund had 450,000 members and $9 billion under management. Today, there’s over $90 billion in funds under management on behalf of 800,000 members and clients.

Under Michael’s leadership, the fund has achieved many historic milestones including public offer status in 2006, the merger with Health Super in 2011, and the acquisition of financial planning group StatePlus in 2016.

First State Super is now one of Australia’s most prominent and respected super funds. The profile and reputation the fund enjoys today can in large part be attributed to Michael’s leadership.

Announcing the appointment of Michael’s successor, First State Super chairman Neil Cochrane said, ‘Ms Stewart’s experience and achievements in superannuation, investment management, insurance, strategy and marketing make her an excellent choice for our next CEO.’

‘Our members are at the heart our culture. The priority that Ms Stewart places on relationships – be they with members, stakeholders or employees - was evident in all the conversations that I and the board had with her. She will be a strong champion of the core values that drive our success.’

Ms Stewart is credited with transforming MetLife’s Australian insurance business. She has created a purpose-driven culture, new business channels and a new digital capability. She has previously held senior leadership roles with BT Financial Group in Sydney and Merrill Lynch Investment Management in New York.

Michael will continue to lead the fund until November this year. The board’s intention is that Michael and Deanne will work together for a short period prior to November to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

‘There is no doubt that Michael will be missed. But in Deanne Stewart, we have appointed someone with the attributes, skills, experience and most importantly, the personal values that are critical for this role. I believe she is the right person to lead First State Super, to continue the excellent work of Michael and the executive team, and to maintain our unwavering focus on putting members first’, said chairman Neil Cochrane.

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