Cbus chief executive David Atkin has been named the 2017 Fund Executive Association Limited (FEAL) Fund Executive of the Year.

Atkin was recognised at a FEAL members’ dinner held at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne on Wednesday August 2. In accepting the award Atkin said he was a “reluctant winner” and credited the work of the entire Cbus team.

The annual FEAL Fund Executive of the Year award, now in its 16th year, recognises a fund executive who has made an outstanding contribution to their employer and the superannuation industry, with nominees judged on criteria including innovation, leadership, exceeding expectations, demonstrated strategic planning and contribution to the market place.

Atkin has been awarded a $25,000 executive education grant, courtesy of AMP Capital, to be used at his discretion with the world’s most renowned business schools. AMP Capital has been the supporting partner of the award since its inception 16 years ago.

FEAL chief executive Joanna Davison said the calibre of nominees in 2017 was extremely high.

“Stand out examples of where David has had the most impact include his successful championing of innovation, sustainability, and the development of a new investment strategy to benefit members,” Davison said. “He has also ensured that Cbus has been at the forefront of public policy debate which has resulted in Cbus being the recipient of numerous awards under David’s leadership.”

The judging committee said Atkin had been selected in recognition of his market contribution in areas such as environmental, social and governance (ESG); diversity; the indigenous community; and unpaid super as well as his steerage of Cbus.

Atkin has been the chief executive of Cbus, a $40 billion default fund for the building and construction sector, since 2008. He has been the Australian asset owner representative on the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI) Council since 2009 and is a member of the CEO Panel for the Investor Group on Climate Change. Atkin is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Investors Working Group for the 30 per cent club, which campaigns for 30 per cent of women on ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018.

AMP Capital head of institutional business Tim Nation said Atkin’s “outstanding leadership of Cbus and industry advocacy of best practice in sustainability and diversity” exemplified what the Fund Executive of the Year award sets out to highlight.

“AMP Capital has proudly partnered with FEAL to sponsor this award for 16 years,” Nation said. “We value the relationship we have with FEAL and the role it plays to further the development of our industry’s leaders in order to continue to provide better retirement outcomes for their members.”