The $3.5 billion Catholic Super & Retirement Fund (CSRF) has hired a former Mercer asset consultant, once the principal consultant for Qantas Super, as its new investment officer.

Anne Whittaker will start at the CSRF in October, ending an 18-month stint at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, where she had been its first senior policy adviser on investments. Whittaker was a principal at Mercer Investment Consulting for 14 years prior to this. At CSRF Whittaker replaces Kevin Hogan, who had been commuting from his Byron Bay home to Sydney and fulfilling the role four days a week. The chief executive of CSRF, Greg Cantor, said the investment officer responsibilities had grown and full-time attention was now required. “Kevin has a young family and a great lifestyle [in Byron Bay] and couldn’t make that commitment, so he resigned and left us a few weeks ago,” Cantor said. Whittaker, who directly managed assets pre-Mercer at organisations such as QBE and GIO, will do everything from identifying potential new managers to the “unglamorous” business of maintaining fee schedules and mandate compliance, Cantor said. “There’s not a big internal investment team here, so there’s no point us having big top-down points of view…It’s about rolling up your sleeves and doing the bottom-up work to get the best out of your managers.” An initial responsibility for Whittaker will be assisting a property review, in consultation with some old colleagues at Mercer, CSRF’s long-time principal asset consultant, as well as ‘secondary’ consultant Frontier. Whittaker’s move from ASFA to CSRF mirrors that made by Sue Willems in March this year. The erstwhile fund secretary of NGS Super left the Association, where she had been a senior policy advisor, to join CSRF in the newly-created role of risk & compliance manager.

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