Neil Cochrane, the highly regarded chief executive of the REST industry super fund, is to become deputy chief executive and head of business development for Colonial First State from October.

Cochrane, who foreshadowed his move from REST earlier this year, will also chair Colonial’s property and infrastructure investment committees. The appointment is likely to signal an increased effort by the big funds manager to attract institutional mandates. Cochrane, who has been at REST for five years, will report to Colonial chief executive, Warwick Negus. He has worked at Colonial before – until the early 1990s – in a business development role. After Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, Cochrane returned to his native South Africa to work on the reconstruction phase of the country, before coming back to Australia. Cochrane was awarded the Fund Executive of the Year citation by the Fund Executives Association Ltd in 2005. He also sits on the ASFA board. In his new role, he will be responsible for all Colonial’s sales and communication globally.

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