A veteran portfolio manager for the $16 billion Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA), whose asset class responsibilities have included Australian equities and hedge funds, will retire at the end of the year.
Ephraim Grunhard has spent 16 years advising the big Commonwealth public sector funds, either as an employee of their internal investment team or of Total Risk Management, the investment advisor sold by the Federal Government to Towers Perrin in 1996.
Grunhard has had a hand in many aspects of the funds’ operations over the years, including administration matters, building up a hedge fund portfolio, and creating the funds’ socially responsible investment program. Grunhard was behind the then CSS/PSS appointing a proxy voting advisor for its international shares in 2003, the first time such a step had been taken by an Australian super fund. He also assisted Erik Mather’s Regnan build its corporate engagement model.
ARIA chief investment officer, Alison Tarditi, said Grunhard would be missed once he retired on December 3, particularly for his constructive contributions to internal investment debates, and his “outstanding mentorship of our junior analysts”.
The quality of this mentorship will be reflected when Grunhard’s portfolio responsibiities are absorbed by younger members of staff – Raymond Yan for Australian equities, and Bobby Pometkov for hedge funds (with an assist from an external advisory firm appointed last December, as well as the top-down risk and strategy teams created by Tarditi).
Grunhard will retire to his home in Canberra, from where he had been commuting three days a week to Sydney. Tarditi said she would entertain a future consulting role for Grunhard should he feel so inclined.
A fellow Total Risk Management alumni, Martin McComish, was recently hired by ARIA as a senior portfolio manager for listed international equities, via stints at QIC and his own consultancy.