The $20 billion QSuper has bolstered its investment committee with three high-profile professionals, among them a former boss of its funds management arm, Queensland Investment Corporation. In February the public sector fund announced that Michael Rice, executive director with Rice Warner actuaries, who is well versed on superannuation product design and experienced in running asset consulting tenders, had been appointed chair of the investment committee.

Ian Macoun, managing director of boutique incubator Pinnacle Investment Management, who as the first chief executive of QIC oversaw the early years of the manager’s ongoing business with the fund, was also confirmed as a committee member. Former QSuper head of investment services and now professor of finance with

Griffith
University, Michael Drew, has also been
appointed to the committee.


The
three join QSuper trustees Steve Ryan, John Carpendale and Natalie MacDonald on
the investment committee. The appointments coalesce with QSuper’s plan to hire
its first chief investment officer in 2009 – Brad Holzberger is currently
acting in the
position,
on secondment from QSuper’s funds manager, QIC. Hiring a CIO would enable the fund
to exert more control over investment decisions and become APRA-regulated, which
it aims to be by mid-year, according to chair Rosemary Vilgan.


Macoun
said the steep underperformance of equities could result in smaller long-term
allocations to the asset class and greater exposures to unlisted assets as funds
seek more diversification. The Pinnacle founder stressed there was no conflict
of interest for him to declare, as QSuper’s investment committee did not make
manager selection
decisions
which might involve Pinnacle boutiques – that function remained outsourced to
QIC, whose consultant Watson Wyatt is also an influence.

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