The $6 billion Qantas Superannuation fund has appointed one of its former lead asset consultants to be the first-ever chief investment officer.

Andrew Spence will clock in at Mascot on July 28, having relocated back to Sydney from Brisbane after resigning from Hyperion Asset Management, where he had a short stint as senior portfolio manager. Until June 2007, Spence worked at Watson Wyatt as a principal and senior investment consultant, where in addition to being a senior rater of Australian equity managers he was a lead consultant to Qantas Super, in partnership with David Neal. Qantas Super’s chief executive officer of one year, Janet Torney, said the creation of the CIO role had resulted from an organisational structure review. The review has seen existing employee Gail Taylor affirmed as head of fund & member services, and will also see the fund employ its first in-house legal counsel. “;That’s an important step in the fund owning its own intellectual property,”; Torney said, adding that once Spence was settled, the fund would consider hiring additional investment staff. The appointments of Torney and Spence in the past year would appear to affirm Qantas’ intention to retain a standalone corporate super fund. Prior to Watson Wyatt, Spence spent nine years at Credit Suisse Asset Management, where was sole portfolio manager for MLC’s A$1.5 billion high conviction Australian equity mandate and head of client service and consultant relationships. Before that, Spence and Torney actually worked together briefly at Westpac Investment Management, but the overlap was only a few weeks. Spence will work closely with Watson Wyatt’s current lead consultant to Qantas Super, Melbourne-based Martin Goss, coincidentally one of the last people he helped hire before leaving the firm.