Michael Dwyer, the former chief executive of First State Super, who last year moved into semi-retirement mode, is joining the board of what is currently the State’s largest fiduciary investment fund: NSW Treasury Corporation.
It is his first big non-executive role after taking on the chairmanship of ‘Australia for UNHCR’. TCorp, as it is known, has more than $100 billion in assets under management from about 130 NSW-based government entities. But it is also the State’s central borrowing authority, overseeing the issuance and sale of State bonds, with a balance sheet if $72 billion. TCorp is a complex organisation. It is closely involved, for instance, in the asset management of both the closed NSW State Super (STC) fund, which retains an investment oversight, and involved with what used to be known as NSW Workcover and now known as ‘iCare’.
Perhaps ironically, TCorp will likely become only the second-largest fiduciary investment organisation in NSW later this year after Dwyer’s old fund (First State Super) completes its proposed merger with VicSuper. But this is not a contest, except maybe for journalists to report on.
Sonja Lee, the head of marketing at TCorp, said last Friday (June 14) that Michael Dwyer was “an outstanding addition to the TCorp board”. She said: “He understands investments, he understands superannuation and he understands growth. He is an ideal appointment to our board. I really look forward to working with him.”
Sonja Lee is no slouch in the governance world, having been a part of the Willis Towers Watson UK-based ‘Thinking Ahead Group’. She said that Dwyer’s expertise would be of enormous benefit to the TCorp business and portfolios.
TCorp has seen its assets under management grow from about $66 billion in 2016 to $93 billion in June last year, and tipping over the $100 billion mark this year. It has also restructured and grown its executive team to match its assets growth.
Dwyer fills the position previously held by Dr Kerry Schott. She was a former chief executive of Sydney Water, who retired from that position and, consequently, the TCorp board.
Coincidentally, Australia for UNHCR held its annual industry breakfast last Friday (June 14) too. Dwyer chose not to speak at the event, however, he gathered a big proportion of the funds management industry to attend and raise money. It was like an ASFA lunch without wine, and way too early in the day. Even at an ungodly hour – 7am – a man of faith, such as Michael, can still bring in a crowd.
One of his many achievements was to be the founding chair of FEAL (the Fund Executives Association Ltd), a role he undertook when he was the chief executive of the former ASSET multi-employer fund. He has retained many of the relationships which stood him in good stead in those formative days.