Two senior investment officers at Tasmania’s $2.9 billion Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF) have taken on similar roles at other funds, with chief executive Simon Gillies now in charge of investments.

John Harman, the long-standing executive manager of investments, has gone to Tasmanian industry fund Tasplan as its first specialist investment manager, and Joanne Townsend has moved to Sydney for an investment role at Non-Government Schools Super Fund. Harman, who had been with RBF for 12 years, said yesterday that Tasplan was close to $1 billion in assets and the fund felt it was time to have an in-house investment manager. Chief executive, Neil Cassidy, with advice from Mercer Investment Consulting, has been performing the role. RBF, with 70,000 members, is Tasmania’s largest fund, as well as being one of the oldest in Australia, having been established in 1904. The investment consultant is JANA. Gillies, who has an investment background, is expected to replace Townsend, but to assume the head of investments role himself indefinitely. RBF runs some of its own investments in the areas of direct property and mortgages and currently has an investment staff of about six.

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