Dyer dumped as NZ Super 'restructures'

The Board of the Guardians of the $13.2 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) has sacked its chief investment officer, Paul Dyer, as the start of a "restructuring process".

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 8:12AM

by David Chaplin

An NZSF spokesperson confirmed Dyer's position "has been made redundant as a result of the Guardian's restructuring the fund".

"We can't say anymore as it is an individual employment agreement," the spokesperson said.

It is understood that Dyer, who was appointed to the chief investment officer (CIO) role in March 2004, left the NZSF this week. The CIO position will not be replaced, the NZSF said.

While the details of the NZSF restructuring plan have not yet been released it is understood Dyer disagreed with the fund's strategic direction, which has been tipped to shift away from equity investments towards more direct ownership of assets.

In a statement issued earlier this month explaining the recent negative performance of the fund, Adrian Orr, NZSF chief executive, said despite a decline in value of the fund by 5.24% in January it "significantly outperformed this index due to the buffer role played by our other assets including fixed interest, commodities, infrastructure, and timber".

But Orr also wrote in article late in February that the NZSF could start "buying shares even more aggressively than our strategic asset allocation suggests" to take advantage of the current global equities slump.

As well, Orr flagged the prospect of the NZSF providing short-term lending facilities to "fundamentally sound" companies in need of quick cash.

"However, we first want to assess whether such short-term activities reward sufficiently. There are significant difficulties and risks, and it takes much more specialist knowledge," he said in the article.

Good Returns was not able to contact Dyer before press time. Prior to joining the NZSF he was CIO at AMP Capital Investors, a firm he spent eight years with. Before AMP Capital Dyer was head of strategy at SBC Warburg (Australia) as well as filling economist roles at Buttle Wilson and the New Zealand Treasury.

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