Following Elana Rubin’s departure as chair of AustralianSuper, chief executive Ian Silk has commended her contribution.

“We are very disappointed to lose Elana as chair,” Silk said.

Rubin, who was a board director of AustralianSuper for seven years, of which she was chair for six, is currently not giving any clue as to what her next role might be. Silk also confirmed that no announcement was due immediately on Rubin’s next move, as “she has not made her future plans public as of yet”.

During Rubin’s time on the board, the fund grew from 1.3 million to 2.1 million members and from $29 billion to $61 billion.

A director of the Australian Retirement Fund since 1992, Rubin became a director of AustralianSuper in 2006 when it was created out of the merger of ARF. In an official statement issued by the fund, she was described as an inspirational leader.

Silk also praised the fund’s new chair, Heather Ridout, a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

“She has been on the board for six years and been an influential director in that time.”

However, he denied that having Ridout as chair would bring any sharp change of policy at AustralianSuper.

“She herself has said she is not going to lead the organisation in a new direction, but any chair will want to put their own stamp on an organisation. She is an eminent figure. She has an extremely strong interest in public policy.”

Ridout has been at AustralianSuper since 2007. Some of the challenges she faces include monitoring the fund’s first steps into Asia, where it has set up an office in Beijing, and its target of moving $40 billion of assets in house, as well as the rollout of the Stronger Super reforms and greater financial advice for members.

Last week Rubin also resigned from the board of life insurer TAL, with an announcement issued by chair Rob Thomas.

A director since 2007, Rubin was chair of the investment committee and a member of the technology and innovation committee.
Thomas said Rubin was an “outstanding director”, and acknowledged that TAL saw “very considerable business evolution and growth” during her tenure – the insurer doubled in size, growing to approximately $1.55 billion of life premiums at the end of 2012.

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