Mine Super, the $11 billion coal industry fund formerly known as AusCoal, announced late last Friday the resignation of David Bell, the fund’s CIO. It came as a shock. He is remaining at the fund, though, until a replacement is found.
The statement from Mine Super, at 4.45pm last Friday, said: “David has been employed by Mine Super since July 2014 and has been instrumental in advancing the Fund’s investment model from being consultant-led to an internally driven model.
“David has always championed retirement outcomes, notably helping the Fund collaborate with the industry to develop the Members’ Default Utility Function (MDUF), an open-architecture metric to assist the industry to design retirement outcome solutions.
“David is leaving the Fund to focus on the completion of his PhD on investment management at the University of New South Wales. He will remain with the Fund over the coming months while a recruitment search is undertaken.”
Mine Super has gone through significant change in the past couple of years. It has new senior executive management and David Bell got the permission to build out an investment management team, which he did. He also took the time to organise an award-winning retirement solution (thanks to Pendal, too, for the SuperRatings Innovation Award), with Mercer and his staff.
Bell said in a written statement to Investor Strategy News yesterday (Sunday): “It has been my decision to leave the fund to focus on the completion of my PhD through UNSW (which has one of the best and most demanding PhD programs). Over the past number of years, we’ve created a great foundation, strengthened the capability of the investments team and are well set up for the future. I believe now is the right time to move on and know that the fund has robust transitionary arrangements in place to continue to deliver exceptional retirement outcomes to members.”
Neither he nor a fund spokesperson would comment further.