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Thursday, 14 October 2021
 

Aware Super has announced the appointment of Damien Webb as the Fund’s new Deputy Chief Investment Officer.

Mr Webb joined Aware Super in 2014 as the Head of Income and Real Assets and over the past seven years has spearheaded the Fund’s successful investment strategy and expansion in the infrastructure, property, credit income and agriculture asset classes.

During this time, Aware Super has invested nearly $900 million in essential worker affordable housing projects, won the concessions to provide the exclusive right to operate the NSW and Victorian Land Registries and, committed to $2bn in loans and bonds to support successful Australian companies.

As Deputy CIO, Mr Webb will work closely with Chief Investment Officer Damian Graham to expand the Aware Super Investment Team as the Fund implements its recently approved five-year investment strategy and prepares to invest more than $250bn on behalf of its members in coming years

He will also continue to lead the Real Assets Team, increasing the Fund’s strong capabilities in this area and bringing more investment management in house.

As well as Mr Webb’s appointment, Aware Super has also announced that Caroline Saunders has been appointed Head of Investment Governance and Communications.

Ms Saunders joined Aware Super in 2015 as Senior Manager – Governance and Projects and for the past four years has been Senior Manager Governance and Due Diligence

Aware Super CIO Damian Graham said Ms Saunders’ elevation to her new role reflected the critical role governance would play in the growing Investment Team.

In addition, Mr Graham said, Aware Super had recently commenced recruitment for two new senior roles, specifically a Head of Direct Asset Oversight and Enhancement and Sector Head of Internal Equities.

The Head of Direct Asset Oversight and Enhancement will report to Mr Webb and be focused on the effective governance, operational due diligence, and enhanced direct asset oversight of the portfolio.

The Sector Head of Internal Equities will be responsible for the continued development of the Fund’s internal equities capabilities including potential global opportunities and uplifting the role of the strategic equities program.

Mr Graham said the structure changes laid the foundation for the Fund to continue to deliver top performance for its members for decades to come.

“Aware Super’s investment pool has doubled in size over the past five years, and we expect to be managing more than $250bn by 2025,” Mr Graham said. “To prepare for this growth, we have reviewed our investment strategy and are putting plans in place now to ensure we can successfully deploy our members savings at this scale.

“This means we need to continue to innovate our approach and consider not just today’s investments but long-term trends and opportunities.

“Over the next five years we expect to double the size of our investment team and continue to build out our internal capability as well as consider new off-shore expansion.

“Today’s announcement is recognition of the incredible work both Damien and Caroline have done over many years to help our team to become a true leader in our industry.

“Under their guidance, and through the other changes we are making to the team, we are confident we have the foundation to attract the very best people to help our members to achieve a better retirement.”

As well as the key changes to their Investment Team, Aware Super has also announced the promotion of James Osborn to the new role of Deputy Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Tim Elliott Group Executive Finance, Strategy and Transformation.

Mr Osborn’s promotion is another important change, to support the Fund to deliver on its ambitious growth plans, and will provide leadership to the finance, tax, and procurement functions of the Fund.

For further information, contact:

Di Lloyd, Senior Manager External Affairs

t:  0419177599

e: media@aware.com.au

Note to Editors

Previously known as First State Super, we changed our name to Aware Super in September 2020.

Aware Super is a name that reflects our members and what we stand for. It echoes the strengths of our past, aligning to our purpose to be a force for good in superannuation, retirement, and advice, driving better outcomes for our members, their families, and communities.

Aware Super has been the fund for people who value community since 1992, and we’re now one of Australia’s largest funds and continuing to grow. We merged with VicSuper and WA Super last year and now manage $150 billion in savings for more than 1 million members located across the country.

Our members work in roles that breathe life into their communities and they expect us to do the same. So, we invest in assets that we believe will make a positive difference today – improving our communities, building a more a sustainable economy and supporting employment both locally and globally at the same time as providing strong long-term returns.

Discover how we’re helping members do well financially while doing good in the world: Visit aware.com.au.