The outgoing Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) chief executive, Steve Gibbs, has strongly hinted a role related to corporate governance or sustainability may be his next move after he finishes up in mid-January.

After eight years running ARIA, Gibbs tendered his resignation last week but will return from holiday for five days from January 14 to “;tie up loose ends and clean my desk”;, and then start searching for another job. Gibbs would not be drawn on the reason for his sudden departure, but said he had made up his mind just before notifying the board. “;I’ve been here eight years, and every organisation needs renewal,”; he commented. Deputy CEO Paul Watson will temporarily run ARIA’s Canberra office while Sydney will for now be run by chief investment officer Alison Tarditi, who said the $18 billion funds’ board was still finalising its strategy to find Gibbs’ replacement. Tarditi said investment was her passion and that she would not be applying to permanently replace Gibbs. Watson could not be reached for comment last night on whether he would apply for the role. Gibbs said that he may re-enter the industry in another role at a super fund, but also pointed out his “;keen interest”; in good governance and sustainable investment. Under his guidance, Gibbs said ARIA had been “;way ahead of its time”; in pursuing corporate transparency and responsibility. ARIA was a foundation supporter of Erik Mather’s ESG-based investment programs, and was an early signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment. Gibbs said he would continue to live in Canberra, because his son was entering Year 12 at a high school there in 2008. “;But I don’t mind doing some commuting,”; he said.

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