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NZ Super CEO heads for the exit

Long-time NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) chief Matt Whineray will step down in a planned pre-Christmas exit after more than a decade at the organisation.

In a statement, NZS chair Catherine Drayton confirmed Whineray would leave the now $60 billion sovereign wealth fund after 15 years with the organisation and five years in the top job.

“In his five years as CEO, and previously as chief investment officer, Matt has presided over significant growth in the NZ Super Fund, well in excess of our investment performance benchmarks,” Drayton said in the release. “Earlier this week the fund was recognised by Global SWF as the best-performing sovereign investor globally, over the last 10 years.”

Whineray will wrap up his NZS career by completing “a number of significant current programmes of work” over the coming months before a planned pre-Christmas exit.

“I am proud of our team’s stewardship of the NZ Super Fund, which has seen global recognition for the fund’s strong investment performance, our work in responsible investing, and reporting and transparency,” he said in the statement. “This success is the result of the combined efforts of all members of the Guardians’ team and the board over many years.”

Previously chief investment officer, Whineray replaced Adrian Orr as NZS leader in 2017. Orr left NZS after 10 years in charge to take up his current role as Reserve Bank of NZ governor. Whineray would be “taking some time out to consider what’s next”, the release says.

The NZS is forecast to more than double in size over the next 10 years while the chief executive job has been the highest-paying public service role, netting Whineray over $1 million in the last financial year.

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