QSuper chief executive officer Rosemary Vilgan has announced she will resign from her role after 18 years at the helm.

Vilgan, who will spend her last day in the office on October 23, has spent the past few years on an evangelical push to get QSuper members moved into investment cohorts reflective of their relative risks so as to avoid the drawdowns they experienced in the GFC.

Vilgan said it was a difficult decision to make, but that the timing was good as the fund was currently in a great position. She plans to take a holiday after her last day before working out her next step.

The three-and-a-half month period for her departure was negotiated with the QSuper board, who will begin a formal search for the company’s next chief executive officer – a role that paid Vilgan $1,054,862 for the financial year 2013/14, making her the highest paid chief executive in superannuation.

If the new CEO continues Vilgan’s vision it will be to see the fund take the path to offer individual cohorts for all members.

In a prepared statement, Vilgan said while there was never a good time to leave, the $59 billion fund was in a strong and formidable position with high employee engagement and that it was time to pursue other interests.

She highlighted the trust with which QSuper had built up with its 540,000 members over the 27 years she has spent with the fund, as one of her proudest achievements.
“We are a trusted financial partner and I am very proud of that,” she said.

She added: “The decision to leave the group hasn’t been easy, nor is it one that I have made lightly, but I believe now is the time to move on and allow a new CEO to take QSuper to the next stage.”

QSuper chairman Karl Morris paid tribute to Vilgan’s input.

“Rosemary has made an immense contribution to QSuper and the superannuation industry, and is held in high esteem by the board, the executive, group employees and the business community,” Mr Morris said.

“The continued growth and success of the QSuper Group would not have been possible without Rosemary’s vision, commitment and leadership.

Morris listed the key highlights of Ms Vilgan’s tenure as follow:

  • The development of QSuper and merger of many government funds
  • Delivering equitable superannuation for all public sector employees in Queensland
  • Successfully transitioning to an integrated financial services entity in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and building internal investment capability
  • The voluntary adoption of Federal regulation in 2009
  • Being awarded Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year in 2013
  • Moving the Fund to a goal of meeting individual member outcomes, in particular with the creation of QSuper Lifetime in 2013 and just last month, Money Map and Online Advice.
  • Overseeing growth in member accounts from around $13 billion to $90 billion