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Australian is new CEO of Guardians of NZ Superannuation

Australian industry veteran Jo Townsend has been appointed chief executive of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation.

Wednesday, March 27th 2024, 1:21PM

Most recently Townsend led Funds SA – an AU$40 billion institutional investor of public sector funds.

She will take up her new role overseeing  the $70b NZ Super Fund in April 2024. Paula Steed will continue as acting CEO until then.

Townsend was CEO of Funds SA between 2015 and 2023.  Before 2015, she held various roles at REST Industry Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, including as general manager of investments and acting chief operating officer. Earlier in her career she held investment roles at NGS Super, Retirement Benefits Fund, Value Capital Management and Rothschild Australia Asset Management.

Guardians chair John Williamson says Townsend is a highly-experienced CEO with a 30-year career in the Australian investment sector. He says while at Funds SA she oversaw a significant growth in the organisation’s capabilities.

“Jo is a proven people leader with a track record of developing high-performing teams, attracting talent and building strong stakeholder relationships.

“As the first externally-appointed CEO since Mr Adrian Orr in 2007, Jo will bring a fresh industry perspective and considerable experience to the Guardians.  We believe she is the right person to lead us into the future.”

Townsend says, the NZ Super Fund is known and respected globally as a high-performing institutional investor.

“The Guardians’ purpose – sustainable investment delivering strong returns for all New Zealanders – sums up the importance of the Fund to the country.”

Tags: people

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