Cbus’ Trish Donohue and Kristian Fok have won Chief Investment Officer of the Year award at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017.

Fok and Donohue share the duties of chief investment officer at the $37 billion industry fund for construction workers. Fok focuses on investment strategy while Donahue focuses on investment management and operations.

The award acknowledges the person – or in this case persons – deemed to have made the greatest contribution to the implementation of investment strategy and advancement of members’ interests through contributions to the investment process.

“We are very pleased to consider such a broad mix of CIOs from small to medium to large funds as finalists. I have to say for the judges it was a very hard decision,” award judge and CalSTERS chief investment officer Chris Ailman said.

“Each of the finalists should consider themselves very worthy and should be recognised tonight.”

Ailman added that the judges said that the committee was impressed by Cbus’ new strategic investment plan that is forecast to deliver 10 to 15 basis points in cost savings to members over the next five years.

Donohue and Fok accepted the award on stage together.

“I am completely honoured to accept this award,” said Donohue who was the founding member of the Cbus investment team and has led it ever since.

She hired Fok, previously the fund’s long-time asset consultant, to come in-house in the split CIO role four years ago.

“Kristian [Fok] and I have actually been working together for 17 years. And while we don’t always agree, we do work well together,” Donohue said.

“I put that down to a shared belief in always looking after the best interests of our members.”

Fok thanked Donohue for her vision in bringing him on board to help implement the fund’s ambitious growth strategy.

“Thank you for guiding me since I joined the fund, and for understanding the enormous potential of the fund.



The other finalists in the Chief Investment Officer of the Year Category were Australian Ethical Investment CIO David Macri, MLC Super Fund CIO Jonathan Armitage, and Statewide Super CIO Con Michalakis.

See the full list of winners across all 12 categories here

More than $86,000 was raised for The Wayside Chapel, which was the charity partner for the the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017,  at the gala dinner to announce the winners in Sydney on March 9.  To donate to Wayside click here.

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