John Stratton, who oversees $11.9 billion as chief investment officer of Insurance Australia Group (IAG), will leave the company in late April to join Brit Insurance in a similar role.

Stratton will be the London-based chief investment officer of Brit Insurance and report to chief executive Mark Cloutier, according to an IAG spokesman and a Brit Insurance statement.

Stratton has been CIO at Sydney-based IAG since 2003. IAG is assessing investment professionals within the company and at other businesses as it seeks to replace Stratton, the spokesman says.

Stratton was responsible for portfolios that invested IAG’s insurance reserves and excess operational capital. Both provided a return of 5.9 per cent for the financial year ending July 2011 but invested different amounts of capital in fixed income, cash, stocks and alternative assets, the company’s report to investors, issued on August 25, 2011, shows.

Ninety-nine per cent of IAG’s $8.3 billion in so-called technical reserves, or funds used to back outstanding insurance liabilities, was invested in fixed interest and cash securities. They helped earn income of $489 million. The remaining 1 per cent was invested in alternative assets.

Fixed income and cash securities were 58.9 per cent of the $3.6 billion of so-called shareholders’ funds, which represent shareholder equity not used in day-to-day business. The securities helped earn $213 million of income. Australian stocks were 18.1 per cent of the portfolio and international stocks 5.4 per cent. Alternative assets were 17.6 per cent.

Stratton oversaw an increase in IAG’s investments in “growth” assets. Since July 2009, the proportion of its investments in stocks and alternative assets grew from less than 22 per cent to 41.1 per cent.

Simon Mumme became a fnancial journalist through a stroke of luck. Upon graduating with a Master of Journalism from The University of Queensland in 2006, he set out to fnd a news organisation that would employ him as an overseas correspondent or business reporter. Or both, ideally. Conexus Financial hired the bright-eyed cadet, and in the ensuing years he wrote for all of its titles until being appointed editor of Investment Magazine in June 2010. Under his guidance, the magazine continues to dominate the Australian institutional investment media through its authoritative, insightful and engaging feature stories and analysis. Outside of work, Simon trains keenly in Muay Thai kickboxing, revels in the surf breaks fringing the Sydney coastline and reads as much high-quality journalism and non-fiction writing as he can. Committed to his role as a niche business reporter, Simon is aware that an overseas posting as a correspondent still eludes him. He hopes Conexus can help him with that career goal too.
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