Ian Lundy has been confirmed as Tasplan’s new chief investment officer as part of the merger between it and RBF’s accumulation scheme.

The two funds are going through a successor fund transfer (SFT) that is due to be completed on March 31, 2017. During the SFT, Lundy will be the chief investment officer of both Tasplan and RBF’s accumulation scheme, with him staying on with Tasplan once the merger is finalised.

“The two pools of assets are [a] similar size, so when you combine them you need to really think through what the asset allocation looks like and start from scratch with a lot of that stuff,” Lundy said.

“But then also acknowledging you have what you have and you can’t just set an allocation that bears no resemblance to what you already have, because that brings in a lot of transaction costs. So we’re working through the allocations and the asset class structure at the moment.”

Currently RBF has more unlisted property while, proportionately, Tasplan has a larger weighting to listed property. RBF also has a lot less in private equity, with it effectively having $1 million compared to Tasplan’s $62 million.

“Although the funds have a lot of similarities, there’s a lot of questions around the smaller differences that will be interesting,” Lundy said.

Lundy aims to take the plan for the major asset classes to the investment committee by December, so that the funds will then have the first three months of next year to work through the details with the transition manager of how it is going happen.

Mark Williams, who was Tasplan’s investment manager, is continuing at the fund in the role of head of listed assets and strategy, working with Lundy to develop the plans.

The investment team is also planned to be built up, with Tasplan already advertising for the role of manager of unlisted investments.

“We’re not looking to have a huge team – it will be around nine people, including two working on internal investments,” Lundy said, but qualified that they are not looking to internalise any other investments any time soon.

The defined benefit component of RBF will be split off and continue as a separate entity under the Superannuation Commission, which consists of up to three people appointed by the treasurer.

As previously reported, the Commission will be responsible for the administration and investment management of the schemes and can put both those functions out to open tender. Tasplan, as well as others, will be able to apply for this tender.

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