The $9.3 billion Mine Wealth + Wellbeing fund is increasing its Sydney-based investment team from five to 11, partly in a bid to allocate alternative assets more effectively and to build its retirement options.

David Bell, chief investment officer of the fund, has spent the past year making the business case for the expansion, and gaining executive and board approval.

The new staff members will specialise in manager research, retirement outcome modelling, investment operations and quantitative research.

Bell said: “The aim is not to chase savings, but when you are dealing with such a big denominator of money there are just so many little things you can do that pay the way of a large team.”

One area of focus will be to compare the cost and return profiles of its alternative investments to ensure the fund has the optimal mix of assets in this part of its asset allocation.

Bell also promised that the fund will unveil work it is doing on its investment options for retirees and that it will deepen its fund manager relationships.

The team will be structured so that all areas sit under one umbrella.

“We see that a lot of the really big funds with large teams have had to silo their activities, which can make a team member’s activities more narrow,” said Bell, who added that the growth in capabilities does not mean the fund is looking to internalise its asset management.

The fund plans to fill all positions between now and June 2016. A requirement of all new staff will be to visit the Mine Wealth + Wellbeing office in Newcastle once a fortnight.

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