Former State Street Global Advisers regional chief investment officer, Lochiel Crafter, is coming home to run one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.

Crafter will become chief executive of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA, formerly PSS/CSS), the provider of defined benefit and accumulation funds to Commonwealth public servants, with over 400,000 members and pensioners and close to $19 billion under management. ARIA chair, Susan Doyle, said Crafter would spend the next few weeks repatriating his family from Singapore, would join the ARIA board meeting on May 13 and commence work later that month. ARIA’s board retained recruitment firm The Culleton Partnership to find a new CEO following the sudden departure of Steve Gibbs late last year. Unlike Gibbs, Crafter will be based in ARIA’s Sydney office rather than the Canberra office. Acting in the role has been ARIA chief operating officer, Peter Carrigy-Ryan. Crafter moved to Singapore in March 2007, to be more centrally located in the Asia-Pacific region for which he was SSgA’s chief investment officer. However he lost that title in a restructure last November, in which the regional CIOs were replaced by global CIOs for each of SSgA’s major asset classes. Crafter was reassigned as senior managing director, market and investment strategies, reporting to SSgA’s head of non-US businesses, Mark Lazberger. SSgA Australia’s managing director, Rob Goodlad, said Crafter had indicated he needed to return to Australia for personal reasons. He said Crafter had no portfolio management responsibilities to reassign, while his oversight of the regional product engineering and Advanced Research Centre functions will pass to Adele Kohler and Mark Hooker, respectively, whose global roles are both based in Boston. Running ARIA will not be Crafter’s first job at a public sector fund – he has worked for NSW State Super’s Investment & Management Corporation, prior to stints with Westpac Investment Management and Commonwealth Investment Management, before seven years with SSgA. Already the holder of an MBA and a CFA, Crafter is currently working toward a doctorate in business administration.

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