UniSuper, the $28 billion retirement fund for current and former higher education and research employees, has hired Mark Himpoo to develop an in-house investment management strategy.

Himpoo, who worked for 17 years as head of fundamental Australian equities at BlackRock, will join a team of about 30 investment staff at Melbourne-based UniSuper.

“We’re gradually managing more money in-house,” says UniSuper’s chief investment officer John Pearce. “We don’t have a target.”

Pearce, the former Colonial First State chief executive, says about $6 billion of UniSuper money is managed by his staff. He plans to hire one or two more junior investment staff but “not one of Mark’s experience”.

On the global economy Pearce says people may be focusing too much on the negative news on Greece and Italy.

“The U.S. will avert a double-dip recession and China is the main game for us, not Europe, and they seem to be orchestrating a slow-down, so there are reasons to be mildly positive,” he says.

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