Qantas Superannuation Plan has begun using a RiskMetrics system to gauge how its $6 billion in assets can withstand various investment risks.

The fund, which manages the retirement savings of more than 33,000 Qantas Group employees, started using the RiskMetrics product, called RiskManager, in late June to better track how changes in investment markets affect its investments.

“We’ve implemented a whole-of-fund risk platform,” Andrew Spence, chief investment officer of the Mascot, Sydney-based fund, said in an interview on Friday July 20. “Ninety per cent of what it shows will be no surprise at all. But I’m hoping to know more about the 10-to-15 per cent that are more opaque.”

Qantas Super oversees the work of fund managers chosen to invest in equity, fixed income and so-called alternative assets, such as private equity. The risk management system would provide more information about the nature of the fund’s investments, most of which are managed through individual contracts or exclusive unit trusts, Spence said.

“It’s like getting a high-performance car. You need to understand how it will operate in a range of situations,” Spence said. “Which fuel is best? How does it go in the wet? The next six months will show us how to better understand the portfolio.”

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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