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.”

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