How have you been a change agent at
your organization? What have you done
that you’re particularly proud of?
I am proud to stand on my own and defend
the investment of a manager that most of
my colleagues do not like. It’s always easier
to side with the majority; given the risk you
could be wrong, but thus far (firmly touching
wood!) they have done what it says on the tin
and I will continue to defend them as being a
valuable part of our Fund.
What is the asset class or investment
that keeps you up at night, and why?
Fixed income: a 30-year bull market in
bonds has delivered a generation of investors who have not experienced the impact of
rising interest rates. A reversal of this trend
would have ramifications across all asset
classes as well as our members’ consumption and investment decisions that most of us
have never experienced before.
What methodologies have you adopted
within your institution?
I am a strong advocate of allocating capital
to external managers on an alpha per dollar of fee paid basis. Often asset owners fall
into the trap of either allocating capital to
managers that do not deliver, or assuming
an “expensive” manager is not worthwhile.
Where do you fall in the passive vs.
The main risk to our members is having
insufficient funds in retirement, hence, other
things equal, I would allocate more of their
risk to passive equities, which are cheap to
hold and should deliver the best risk premia
over time to grow their retirement funds.
However, markets can stray from fair value
for a long time, and so some active manage-
ment helps to smooth returns and prevent
members from changing their investment
options at the wrong time.
What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community
make in 10 years?
Not being afraid to say, “we have too much
capital for what we are trying to achieve.”
Who is a manager you don’t currently
work with whose brain you’d like to pick?
Shemara Wikramanayake at Macquarie
Group Asset Management.
Ideally, where would that meeting take
Lavender Bay, Sydney, overlooking our
What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
Any software tool is only as good as the data
that are inputted into it, and so smart, careful colleagues who take the data we have and
are able to deliver to me information that is
accurate, are more valuable.
What would improve the relationship
Dr. Zoë McHugh
Investment Strategist, First State Super Trustee
Corporation (Sydney, Australia)
She has worked in the finance industry in Australia
and the UK, having held previous senior roles at
ANZ and Aberdeen. An accomplished macroeconomist
with a PhD in Economics, Zoe is tirelessly inquisitive
with markets and tenacious about her work.
between you and managers?
The best relationships I have with fund managers is with those who are humble, honest,
and upfront about their investment capabilities. I know a fund manager cannot be all
things to all people; those managers who
think they can don’t belong in our Fund.
Why did you choose your current path?
I believe passionately in Australia’s superannuation system and the benefits that our
compulsory contribution system provide to
retirees. Therefore, I wanted to be a part of
ensuring that this system does the best it can