Christian Super’s long-serving chief executive, Peter Murphy, has resigned and the board of the $1.2 billion faith-based fund set to announce it has commenced a search for his replacement.

Murphy, who had led Christian Super for more than nine years, handed in his resignation before the Easter break.

The board, led by chair Neville Cox, has decided to relieve Murphy of the obligation to serve out his notice period.

In a statement released on Thursday April 27, 2017, Cox paid credit to Murphy’s work, citing his longstanding and faithful service.

“Under Peter’s leadership, Christian Super grew from $400m to $1.2bn, and has consistently experienced first quartile membership growth.  Peter has also built around him a highly skilled and professional staff team to deliver quality service to our members,” he said.

Murphy has joined boutique management consultancy Robertson & Chang, where he will assist not-for-profit organisations with their financial and business strategy.

“I am very much looking forward to helping non-profit organisations align their financial resources with their mission,” he told Investment Magazine.

He said he was excited about working with aged care and education providers on improving their strategy.

The board will probably be focused on finding a qualified replacement who also has a strong commitment to the fund’s Christian values. A central plank of Christian Super’s growth strategy is wining default mandates from employers with a Christian identity. The fund’s most important contributing employer is Hillsong Church.

While many small funds are under pressure, Christian Super’s niche marketing appeal has helped it achieve strong growth, even during the global financial crisis.

“During my nine years as CEO, we grew funds under management by 175 per cent, and that period included the GFC, so that’s something I’m very proud of,” Murphy said. “The fund also increased net membership by 65 per cent, and active membership rates from 60 per cent to more than 80 per cent.”

Murphy said he was most pleased with the growing sophistication of Christian Super’s capabilities as a social impact investor under his leadership.

“Christian Super has now deployed more than $100 million into direct investments that make a positive social impact, such as clean energy, micro-finance and social infrastructure. Putting that capital to work doing social good is probably my proudest achievement in the role.”

In October 2016, the fund launched its own impact-investment specialist funds management business, named Brightlight.