The $12 billion fund of WorkCover NSW has a surprise new general manager of investments, who started yesterday in the role that’s been vacant since Michael Block left for FuturePlus in January.

Jerome Lander, who lost his job running international equities and diversified assets boutiques at Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM) when ownership switched to Aberdeen a few weeks ago, will report to Workcover chief executive Jon Blackwell in the new role.

He is in charge of the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund’s $12 billion in assets, with responsibilities ranging from asset allocation and asset liability matching to manager selection and direct investment. Lander was considered a surprise pick by some observers, given he has no direct experience of running an holistic investment portfolio.

I&T News understands that Greg Liddell, the former head of implemented international equities at Queensland Investment Corporation who departed abruptly last December, was also considered for the job.  

Lander is only the second person to have held the role, after Block resigned after four years at the helm to become chief investment officer of FuturePlus, the investment manager for the Energy Industries Super Scheme and Chifley Financial Services.

Lander joined CSAM in February 2008. Prior to that, he was head of research and ratings at van Eyk Research.

CSAM’s $13 billion traditional business, including equities, was bought by Aberdeen Asset Management in May, however none of CSAM’s international or Australian equities team were offered positions with

Aberdeen’s expanded $20 billion business.

Steve Ingham and Alan Kwan have been acting general managers of WorkCover’s investment division since January.

A spokesperson for WorkCover said Ingham and Kwan would continue in their roles as director, investment operations and director, investment management respectively following Lander’s appointment.

Christopher Grogan, also a director, investment management, remains part of the investment team.

Commenting on Lander’s appointment, Blackwell said: “I look forward to working with Jerome as we continue to manage the investments of the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund in the challenging context of the global economic recovery.”

 

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