Chalmers adds industry fund flavour to Future Fund
The make-up of the board of the Future Fund has been distinctly altered by the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers with the appointment of a chair and key directors with industry superannuation fund experience.
What is more, Chalmers has signalled change confirming that there will be discussions with the both new chair, Greg Combet and Future Fund chief executive.
“We will have discussions, obviously, with the Chair of the Future Fund and with the CEO and others about the future of the Future Fund – really important institution doing an important job in the economy and in the Budget. We think the most appropriate first step when it comes to renewing and refreshing an institution like this is to get the right people in place,” Chalmers said before adding the importance of fresh thinking and fresh leadership.
Both the new chair of the Future Fund, former Labor cabinet minister, Greg Combet and new director, Rosemary Vilgan, boast significant industry funds/profit to member involvement including at lobbying level.
Combet is a former chair of Industry Super Australia, has sat on the board of AustralianSuper, and was on the board of IFM Investors. All of this reflects his broader background as a trade unionist.
For her part, Vilgan is the former chair of QSuper which later merged with Sunsuper to create Australia’s second-largest profit to member fund, Australian Retirement Trust (ART). She has also been a director of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.
The backgrounds of Combet and Vilgan stand in contrast to current members of the Future Fund Board of Guardians most of whom have corporate financial backgrounds including Patricia Cross who is a former non-executive director of Macquarie Bank and Mary Reemst who is a former chief executive of Macquarie Bank.
Reemst will fill as chair of the Future Fund until Combet takes up his post later this year.
The other new appointment to the board is Nicola Wakefield Evans who is a has held non-executive director roles at Macquarie, Lendlease and MetLife Australia.
Macquarie Group later announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that Wakefield Evans would retire from the board on 29 February.
Announcing the appointments, Chalmers said he believed that Combet would “bring deep, diverse and fresh leadership to the Future Fund”.
He said the appointments would help refresh and renew the Fund and help maintain the high level of skills and experience on the Board.
Former Liberal Treasurer, Peter Costello who established the Future Fund in 2006 became the chair in 2014 and signalled mid last year that he would not be seeking reappointment to the role.