AvSuper has chosen a former lawyer and ASIC employee to become its first manager of compliance, risk management and governance.

Amy Ward joined the $1 billion public sector fund earlier this month after tenures at law firm DLA Phillips Fox and the financial market regulator, which saw her consult superannuation funds on their governance and compliance responsibilities – particularly as they apply to disclosure materials.

She fills the vacancy left by Chris Lee, former executive officer at the fund, who has retired from the fund.

His impending exit prompted AvSuper to review the secretariat role and place compliance, business risk management and governance as its focus areas, Michelle Griffiths, AvSuper chief executive officer, said. 

“It gave us an opportunity to redefine the role and put an increased focus on risk management and governance as opposed to secretarial work,”

Griffiths said. 

At ASIC, Ward focused on super funds’ responsibilities to disclose information about business and investment risks in their public documents.

She will manage business risks and compliance tasks at AvSuper, in addition to the trustee services duties performed by Lee.

Ward will be assisted by Compliance and Risk Services, a business consulting firm based in

Melbourne, which advises the fund on business risks.

Griffiths, meanwhile, will retain responsibility for overseeing investment and corporate governance risks, such as proxy voting.

She said AvSuper would soon assess its investment portfolio with Robert Sturzacker, the fund’s key contact at recently appointed asset consultant JANA Investment Advisers.

At the beginning of July, JANA ended Russell Investment’s four-year term as consultant to AvSuper.


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