John Pearce received the biggest bonus for a chief investment officer of a large super fund with a payout of $653,586, equivalent to 97.6 per cent of his base salary and super package, in the financial year 2014/15.

The bonus size reflects Pearce’s engagement in a number of in-house functions not performed by, or to the same extent, as most other super funds.

For example, not only does Pearce have overall responsibility for the investment of UniSuper’s assets of around $50 billion, he also has direct responsibility of around $25 billion of internally managed funds.

Sue Gould, chair of UniSuper’s remuneration committee, said: “The chief investment officer’s remuneration reflects this extra responsibility. In addition, there are no payments to any outsourced providers to manage that $25 billion, as would be the case with other funds that outsource this function. The chief investment officer’s bonus is heavily dependent on the achievement of quantitative goals over a period of several years.”

The balanced option at UniSuper returned 11.0 per cent for the 2014/15 financial year.

Brad Holzberger of QSuper received the second largest bonus at $512,955 – 84 per cent of his potential incentive for the year. This was a slight decrease from 2013/14 when he received $533,025 – 90 per cent of the potential bonus. The balanced option at QSuper retuned 12.45 per cent for the financial year.

Mark Delaney, chief investment officer at AustralianSuper, received the third largest bonus at $360,791, equivalent to 54.6 per cent of his salary and super package.

Under AustralianSuper’s structure, Delaney is entitled to a “performance payment” of up to 60 per cent of his salary and super. Others in the fund who are eligible for this type of bonus are capped at 40 per cent.

The fund’s balanced option returned 10.6 per cent in 2014/15.

Out of the other large funds, David Hartley, the departing chief investment officer of Sunsuper, was awarded a bonus of $173,540 and a non-monetary benefit of $27,349 for the financial year. Sunsuper returned 10.2 per cent in its balanced option.

Richard Brandweiner of First State Super was the only chief investment officer to receive a bonus linked to long-term as well as short-term incentives. The amount for each was $119,480. The balanced option returned 7.74 per cent in the 2014/15 financial year.

Neither Rob Fowler of HESTA, Kristian Fox of Cbus, Alison Tarditi of Commonwealth Super Corporation, nor Joanne Townsend of REST, received a bonus as their organisations have a policy of against using monetary incentives.

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