Guardians releases 2023 Annual Report
POSTED ON: 24 October 2023
On behalf of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, I am pleased to release our Annual Report for the 2022/23 financial year, along with our Climate Change Report and the 2023 Carbon Footprint for the NZ Super Fund.
Global equities recovered strongly in the second half of the year, forming the basis of an excellent annual result for the NZ Super Fund, a before-tax return of 11.9% after costs. The Fund ended the year at NZ$65.4 billion and remains the top-performing sovereign wealth fund in the world over the last decade, according to Global SWF.
As a Crown investor, investing on behalf of New Zealand taxpayers, we are conscious that transparency is critical to maintaining the trust of our stakeholders. We were delighted during the year to receive our 10th consecutive annual Gold Award at the Australasian Reporting Awards, recognition that our reporting is at global best practice standard. We hope that this year’s report continues that tradition of excellence: it contains extensive information on how and where we invest, how our investments are performing, how we manage risk, and what the Guardians as an organisation is focused on as we plan for further growth in the Fund.
At the Guardians, we have consistently maintained the view that best practice investing requires proper consideration of the risks and benefits from environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, including climate change. We have a long-held view that climate change presents a material risk to long-term investors. As a long-term investor, it is imperative that we integrate consideration of the financial risks and opportunities from climate change into our investment decisions, as well as supporting the transition to a more sustainable financial system.
Our Climate Change Report discusses the challenges climate change presents and our investment approach, in line with Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidance. It is pleasing to note that the Fund has continued to deliver strong financial returns while significantly reducing its exposure to carbon over the last six years. These carbon reductions are set out in our 2023 Carbon Footprint against a range of metrics, include measures designed to aid comparability with other New Zealand Crown investors.
Report highlights include:
- An Investment Report including a detailed performance report, investment environment discussion and an overview of our new investments over the past financial year
- Sustainable Investment Report including a description of our Impact Investment Framework and details of our engagement programme – our ongoing, two-way communication with the companies we invest in, focusing on ESG issues, practices, risks and opportunities.
- A report on the progress of the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, including new investment commitments over the financial year.
- A full list of our asset and investment managers.
This year’s Annual Report is the last to feature our departing Chief Executive, Matt Whineray, who will leave us at the end of the year. Matt has been with the Guardians since 2008, serving as Chief Executive since 2018.
Matt’s commitment to making the Guardians a world-class institution, to doing the right thing by our people, and to incorporating sustainable investment into our organisational purpose and investment strategies has created a legacy of which he can and should be very proud.
It is with great gratitude that we farewell Matt and wish him all the best for the future. He will be missed for his leadership, and his unassailable commitment to our Vision, Purpose and Values.
We look forward to continued success and progress at the Guardians in the year ahead, under the stewardship of a new Chief Executive. I hope to write to you again before the end of 2023 with news of an appointment.
Noho ora mai rā,
Chair of the Board
Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: John Redwood, [email protected], 021 2509 657.