The Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust (AGEST) has picked a prominent former director to be its new chief executive officer, replacing Michael Seton.

Catherine Bowtell spent five years on the AGEST board up until May 2010, after which she contested the seat of Melbourne in the August Federal election, as the Australian Labor Party candidate. Bowtell ultimately lost that well-publicised battle to Greens candidate Adam Bandt.

A lawyer by training, Bowtell was a senior industrial officer at the Australian Council of Trade Unions but left in May after an unsuccessful tilt at the presidency. She had been an ACTU nominee on the AGEST board, as well as the board of AustralianSuper, acting on investment and audit committees across the funds. For six years she was also responsible for superannuation policy at the ACTU.

Meanwhile in July, Government-appointed trustee director of AGEST, Tony Hyams, stepped down after a decade on the board, saying that good corporate governance demanded “new blood”.

Hyams remains a director of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, which is seeking a CEO, as well as Military Super, the fellow public sector scheme now being run by former AGEST CEO Michael Seton.

AGEST was unavailable for comment on Bowtell’s appointment yesterday.



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