The Uniting Church of Australia’s $1.1 billion funds management arm has named the replacement to outgoing chief executive Michael Walsh who is set to retire in February 2018.

UCA Funds Management has appointed Mathew Browning its incoming chief executive, effective February 5.

Browning (pictured) previously spent a decade working for the Myer Family Investment Company – one of Australia’s largest family offices. When Browning departed the Myer Family Company in 2016 he had held the role of general manager, reporting to the group chief executive, for two years. Prior to that he held the title head of strategy, chief operating officer, prior to which he was head of investments.

In a 25-year career in financial services, Browning has also worked in Asia and the United Kingdom. Before joining the Myer Family Company he was a co-founder and chief operating officer of boutique asset manager Cinnabar Equities.

“It is a great privilege to have been selected to lead UCA Funds Management in the new year,” Browning said. “I am excited to be a part of UCA Fund Management’s deep ethical investment heritage and to be joining its passionate team. I look forward to working with the board, management and staff in strengthening the company’s position in the sector, and to leading it into new areas of innovation and growth.”

UCA Funds Management chair Dr David Cousins welcomed Browning and thanked Walsh for his significant contribution leading the business over the past five years.

“In this period, UCA Funds Management grew from $820 million to the $1.1 billion today and consolidated its leadership in the ethical investment sector,” Cousins said.

“In 2018, UCA Funds Management will be celebrating 33 years as a dedicated ethical fund manager. Michael has helped build a sound foundation for the business, allowing it to become the first faith-based social enterprise to be licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as a Responsible Entity.”

Walsh will remain with the business till February 28 to allow for a three week handover period to Browning.

The appointment of the new chief executive comes four months after UCA Funds Management recruited James Cook from ANZ Wealth to head up its investment team in the role of chief investment officer.