HESTA announces new investment leadership structure and internalisation plans


HESTA today announced a new investment leadership structure, with recruitment for Heads of Portfolio Management and Portfolio Design roles and the appointment of Steven Semczyszyn to lead development of an internalised Australian Equities function.

HESTA Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said this internalisation program would be implemented in Australian Equities by 2021 and be underway in cash and fixed interest asset classes in 2022.
“These changes mark the start of an exciting new chapter for our investment team,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said. “Our forward strategy embraces a hybrid model – combining internal management alongside the best external asset management partners the world has to offer – to manage a growing and significant pool of assets.”
“This is part of a broad-ranging and ambitious strategy to drive cost efficiencies and build capability to support the continued achievement of strong, long-term investment performance for our members,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.
Both roles report directly to the CIO. The Head of Portfolio Design will focus on the ‘top down’ aspects of the portfolio, including portfolio construction and risk analysis, economic and market research, and strategic tilting. The Head of Portfolio Management will lead internal and implemented teams across growth, unlisted and defensive market segments.
“These roles will have pivotal leadership responsibilities, helping deliver the overall investment program and portfolio strategy, and will enhance an innovative, leading investment team with strong plans for growth in capability and capacity,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.
Ms Sawtell-Rickson welcomed Mr Semczyszyn to HESTA in the role of General Manager – Growth, saying he was an outstanding addition to the team and would bring more than 20 years’ asset management experience to begin building out the Fund’s internal Australian Equities team.
“Steven brings unique insights drawn from more than 20 years’ experience building talented teams to manage large pools of assets across different equity strategies and will lead the development and implementation of the external and direct growth investment strategy,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.
Mr Semczyszyn was formerly CIO for boutique equity fund manager JCP Investment Partners, overseeing assets of up to $11.5 billion across Australian Equities mandates.
“I am excited to join HESTA during the next phase in the growth of its investment team as it builds its internal equities capability,” Mr Semczyszyn said.
“I see a strong alignment in investment philosophy and am looking to extend upon the Fund’s already significant commitment to responsible investing and quantitative capability.”
“I intend to bring my 20 years of experience building investment processes, equity strategies and team capability to create strong connections directly with capital markets as this will support achieving better outcomes for HESTA members.”
HESTA is also seeking to add to its new Portfolio Design team, currently recruiting for a General Manager – Strategic Tilting who will be responsible for managing dynamic asset allocation, rebalancing and overlay processes. They will also work closely with the Investment Execution team to manage and minimise execution risks while ensuring portfolios are responsive to market conditions and opportunities.
HESTA is the largest superannuation fund dedicated to Australia’s health and community services sector. More than half of those working in the sector nationally invest their retirement savings with HESTA. An industry fund that’s run only to benefit members, HESTA now has over 860,000 members (more than 80% are women) and manages more than $57 billion in assets invested around the world.
HESTA is committed to creating a real difference to the financial future of every member. As a responsible steward of their members’ retirement savings, HESTA focuses on achieving strong, sustainable, long-term returns while making a positive difference to the world members will retire into. HESTA is the acronym for Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia and should appear in capitals.
/Public Release.