The Leadership Team is responsible for leading and managing the Guardians as an organisation.
Matt WhinerayChief Executive Officer
Matt was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Guardians in July 2018. He is responsible for the general management of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation and of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund under delegation from the Board.
Matt first joined the Guardians in May 2008 as General Manager, Private Markets. In 2014 he became Chief Investment Officer, overseeing the Investments Group, responsible for the Fund's portfolio construction and investment activity in listed and unlisted markets, both directly and through investment managers. Matt's achievements in this role included overseeing the development of the Fund's climate change strategy, risk allocation process and risk budget framework, along with strengthening of the Guardians' New Zealand and international direct investment capabilities.
Before joining the Guardians, Matt was at Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) where he was Head of Financial Sponsor Coverage for non-Japan Asia. Prior to this, he was a Managing Director at First NZ Capital in New Zealand and a Vice President at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York. Matt began his career as a Barrister and Solicitor with Russell McVeagh in Auckland.
Matt is a member of Focusing Capital on the Long Term and a Director of Netball New Zealand. Matt has previously served as Co-Chair of the Aotearoa Circle’s Sustainable Finance Forum, a member of the World Economic Forum General Agenda Council on the Future of Investing, and as Chair of the InZone Education Foundation.
Stephen GilmoreChief Investment Officer
Stephen joined the Guardians in 2019. As Chief Investment Officer, he is responsible for overseeing the Asset Allocation, Responsible Investment, External Investments & Partnerships, and Direct Investment teams.
Prior to this, Stephen was the Chief Investment Strategist at the Future Fund, Australia's sovereign wealth fund. In this role he was responsible for Investment Strategy, Investment Risk, Derivative Overlays and Investment (technology) Solutions, a team which acted as an interface between investment and technology. Earlier in his career Stephen held senior strategy roles in London and Hong Kong with AIG Financial Products and Morgan Stanley. He has also worked with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in Wellington, and Chase Manhattan in London.
Stephen was previously a member of the Australian Foreign Exchange Committee and the Institute for International Finance Market Monitoring Group.
Mika AustinGeneral Manager, Human Resources
Prior to joining the Fund as Head of Human Resources in 2012, Ms Austin was a Senior Associate with Russell McVeagh, specialising in commercial litigation. She has also worked for the Financial Services Authority in London. Ms Austin has a LLB/BA from the University of Auckland.
Cristina BillettGeneral Manager, Corporate Affairs
Cristina is the Chair of the Risk Committee, she joined the Guardians in 2009 following roles in both law firms and as in house counsel in the financial services industry. Prior to going inhouse, Cristina spent several years as a senior legal associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in Australia and worked at law firm Bell Gully. Cristina has substantial experience in financial services with expertise across various facets of law including mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial law, health and safety, public law and governance.
David SaraGeneral Manager, Technology
David Sara joined the Guardians in 2009. He has substantial experience in financial services, including as Head of Strategy with UK-based Platform Home Loans, Head of Venture Development for Lloyds Banking Group and Manager of Strategic Planning for the National Bank of New Zealand.
George CrosbyGeneral Manager, Portfolio Completion
George joined the Guardians in 2008, where he was instrumental in the establishment of the Portfolio Investments team, a major source of active returns for the Fund. Prior to joining the Guardians he traded various derivatives books at Westpac, BNP Paribas and Toronto Dominion Bank in Wellington and London. As General Manager Portfolio Completion George will oversee the implementation of the NZ Super Fund’s Reference Portfolio, currency overlay, rebalancing and liquidity management along with a number of internal investment mandates with a credit and arbitrage focus.
Paula SteedGeneral Manager, Strategy & Shared Services
Paula joined the Guardians in July 2021, from ASB Bank where she was the Chief Internal Auditor. Paula has 25 years experience in financial services and banking, starting her career as an auditor with professional services firm Deloitte and holding various executive finance and general management roles with AMP, ANZ and ASB. Paula is a Chartered Accountant, and has a BCA majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law from Victoria University.
Mark FennellGeneral Manager Risk
Mark joined the Guardians in 2007 as General Manager, Operations. In 2012 he was appointed General Manager, Portfolio Completion and in 2021 he was appointed to the newly created role of General Manager, Risk.
Prior to this, he worked for The Warehouse Group where he held roles as Company Secretary, Treasurer and Chief Risk Manager. Mark also has considerable public sector experience in State Owned Enterprises, working as Treasurer for the Forestry Corporation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NZ Railways Corporation respectively.