HESTA has appointed Debby Blakey as its new chief executive.

Blakey was the deputy chief executive serving under Anne-Marie Corboy, who announced her departure as chief executive last September after 16 years in the role. Internally, senior staff at HESTA, had expressed a desire to see Blakey made chief executive.

Angela Emslie, HESTA chair, said: “Our depth of leadership talent has enabled us to appoint an internal candidate and Debby’s experience as deputy CEO for HESTA, working across all facets of the organisation, gives us the confidence that the CEO transition process will be smooth.”

The fund’s 800,000 membership are predominantly women in the health services sector, many of whom have a low-account balance as their work history sees them in both full-time and part-time jobs.

Emslie added: “Most importantly, Debby demonstrates a passion for ensuring that HESTA members, many of whom are women, have every opportunity to lead a dignified retirement.”

Blakey became HESTA’s executive manager, member services, in September 2008. Under her leadership the national financial advice service saw dramatic growth and she was promoted to deputy chief executive in 2012. She gained a Bachelor of Science at the University of Natal, South Africa and is a Certified Financial Planner.

Blakey said: “I am honoured to be appointed to this role. HESTA is an exceptional organisation that I am proud to lead.”

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