Paul-Costello-0015Four years since becoming its first employee, Paul Costello will depart his role as general manager of the Future Fund, saying “new leadership” was appropriate now that the $87 billion vehicle was beyond its “start-up phase”.

Costello will remain in his role for another couple of months, to “facilitate a smooth transition” to a new leader of the Future Fund Management Agency, for whom the Future Fund’s Board of Guardians said it was already searching.

Sources in headhunting circles said it was likely the recruitment process would be run by Spencer Stuart, the global executive search firm which has been the preferred provider of Board chair David Murray since his days as CEO of Commonwealth Bank.

Murray paid tribute yesterday to Costello, particularly for his role in “recruiting a skilled team to develop and implement the investment program”.

His flagging of an extended notice period lead some industry observers to doubt whether Costello, who ran Superannuation Trust of Australia and New Zealand Super Fund prior to this role, had found another job to go to.

An obvious comparable vacancy is that of CEO at Australian Reward Investment Alliance, from which Lochiel Crafter is departing. However, Michael Seton, who recently announced his departure from the helm of AGEST, is said to be front-runner for that role.

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