Stakeholder newsletter - May 2023
POSTED ON: 17 May 2023
The last few months have been busy ones for the Guardians with highlights including global recognition for the NZ Super Fund, the appointment of a new Board member and the launch of our new graduate programme.
NZ Super Fund named top performing sovereign investor globally
New analysis by Global SWF has found the NZ Super Fund was the top performing sovereign investor globally over the last 10 years. We’re very proud of this achievement and would like to acknowledge the efforts of the entire Guardians team and all the business partners who have helped us deliver this strong investment performance.
NZ Super Fund performance figures are updated on our website monthly.
NZ Super Fund performs well in global transparency study
Late last year the transparency of the NZ Super Fund on cost, governance, performance, and responsible investing was independently assessed by CEM Benchmarking using the proprietary, 190-question framework from the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark (a joint initiative of CEM and top1000funds.com). This study measures whether pension organisations are disclosing what they do and how they are generating value for stakeholders clearly, completely, and concisely.
NZ Super Fund public disclosures received an overall score of 78 compared to the global average of 55. This was the second highest score of the 75 funds (the five largest funds in fifteen geographies) whose scores were publicly listed in the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark.
Fiona Oliver appointed to Board
Earlier this year we were delighted to welcome Fiona Oliver to the Guardians’ Board. Ms Oliver has held governance roles across a breadth of sectors including renewable energy, natural gas, technology, commercial property, financial services, professional services and sport, following an extensive executive career in funds and asset management in New Zealand and overseas.
Graduate programme established
Pre-registration is now open for the Guardians’ inaugural Graduate Programme. If you know of any superstar grads who are inspired by our purpose (learn more here) and interested in joining our world-class team, please encourage them to put their name forward. Formal applications will open in July and we look forward to welcoming our first round of graduates in February 2024.
Reconnecting with alumni
Monday 3 April was a special day for the Guardians as we welcomed about 50 former team members to a networking event at Auckland War Memorial Museum. The chance to catch up with our former colleagues followed a hui (meeting) for the entire Guardians’ team at which we were delighted to hear from keynote speakers Dave Letele, New Zealand’s Local Hero of the Year, and Sheila Patel, Vice Chairman of B Capital Group. Former staff members Fiona Mackenzie (now Managing Director, Funds Management, ANZ) and Sam Inglis (Chief Operating Officer, Ngai Tahu Holdings) also spoke. After multiple lockdowns in Auckland and other COVID restrictions over the last three years, it was wonderful to get everyone together. Pictures from the event can be found here.
New investment mandates
In March we brought on a new global investment manager, Episteme Capital, investing USD100m in its flagship Systematic Quest Total Return programme (ESQTR). The ESQTR programme is a global macro investment programme that employs a mix of fundamental, technical, and liquidity strategies in the most liquid futures and foreign exchange forward markets. This investment is a hedge fund strategy that fits into the Fund’s Global Macro opportunity, alongside incumbent managers Bridgewater and Citadel.
We expect Global Macro strategies to be market neutral, producing uncorrelated return over the course of market cycles. We have also made USD$150m in new commitments to existing manager Columbia Capital, with USD$50m to Columbia Capital Equity Partners VIII and USD$100m to Opportunities Fund I. These private equity funds invest in the Communications and Technology industry and focus on building and developing businesses in the digital infrastructure, enterprise technology and mobility space.
Sustainable Investment update
A recent Capital Monitor interview with our Head of Asset Allocation, Dr Charles Hyde, provided a useful update on the breadth of our sustainable investment approach.
Market volatility looks to have peaked in March following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the USA and the emergency acquisition of Credit Suisse in Europe. Globally, Central Bank interest rate hikes look to be nearing their end as demand and inflation begin to fall from the spikes of 2022. Looking ahead, world markets remain focused on the impact of Central Bank policy action and the likelihood, timing, and depth of economic recessions across developed markets.
I announced last week that I was resigning as Chief Executive of the Guardians and will be stepping down later this year. I have loved working alongside the awesome team at the Guardians. Having been CEO for five years and working here since 2008, it’s time for me to take some time out while I consider what’s next. Over the remainder of the year, the Board and I will be fully committed to maintaining momentum on a range of important programmes of work that are designed to set the Guardians and Fund up for the future growth of the NZ Super Fund. A recruitment process for a new CEO will be underway shortly.
Reminder: NZ Super Fund does not give grants or invest people’s money
Please stay vigilant: NZ residents have once again been targeted by a scammer falsely claiming to represent the NZ Super Fund via a fake social media account. The NZ Super Fund does not, and has never, offered grants or investments of any sort to individuals. If you are approached directly, via Facebook or other channels, and offered investments by an organisation or individual claiming to represent the NZ Super Fund, you should not engage. Please immediately notify the FMA, Consumer Protection, CERT or Netsafe.
Hei konā mai,
Chief Executive Officer
Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation