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Westacott to chair Future Generation Global

Patrick Buncsi28 November 2023
Jennifer Westacott

Jennifer Westacott, former chief executive of the Business Council of Australia for more than a decade, has been appointed chair of Future Generation Global, a globally focused, social responsibility-minded investment firm.

Founded in 2015 by current acting chair Geoff Wilson, whom Westacott will replace in the chair role, Future Generation boasts that it is the first listed Australian company with the simultaneous priorities of shareholder and social returns.

The firm, which comprises both Australian and global portfolios, notes that it has invested at least one per cent of average net assets in social impact partners and, since its founding, has donated more than $38 million to youth mental health programs – a key investment focus for the firm.

Since inception, Future Generation Global’s investment portfolio has increased by 7.2%, while its Australia portfolio has jumped by 7.8%.

Future Generation Global reports more than $544.5 million in gross assets.

Collectively, the group reports that it has made $10.6 million in social investments through 2023, most notably targeted at mental health prevention and wellbeing initiatives. More than half of this investment, $5.4 million, has been directed from the Global portfolio.

Wilson welcomed Westacott’s appointment as chair, recognising her “successful tenure” of more than 12 years as chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, the peak body for the Australian business community, stepping down from the role just last month.

“[Westacott has an] understanding that a prosperous business community gives rise to a strong and fairer society, [and] is completely in sync with the ethos of the Future Generation companies”.

Future Generation chief executive Caroline Gurney recognised Westacott’s “passion for business and the community, her network and her unrivalled understanding of how the public and private sectors intersect”.

Westacott is currently Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney and a non-executive director of Wesfarmers. She is also a patron of Mental Health Australia and co-patron of Pride in Diversity.

Future Generation founder and current acting chair, Wilson, while stepping back from chairing duties, will remain on the company’s board as a non-independent director.


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