New Zealand Super has appointed Matt Whineray chief executive, a role he’s been acting in since March.

Whineray joined the organisation 10 years ago as general manager of private markets; since 2014, he has been chief investment officer of the Guardians, the Crown entity charged with managing the investment of the NZ$38 billion NZ Super ($35.6 billion).

He replaces Adrian Orr, the fund’s long-time chief executive who last year became the new governor of the Reserve Bank New Zealand.

NZ Super chair Catherine Savage says Whineray was the stand-out amid a high-quality field of international applicants.

“He has been instrumental in the Guardians’ successes over the last decade and is recognised globally as a leader in institutional investment,” Savage says. “The board has the utmost confidence in his leadership ability, intelligence and integrity.

“The board looks forward to seeing the NZ Super Fund continue to exemplify investment best practice and create value for taxpayers.”

In accepting the top role at NZ Super, Whineray thanked the board for its confidence in him and said he was delighted to take the leadership position.

“The NZ Super Fund is one of the most exciting places to work in institutional investment globally and I am looking forward to the challenge immensely,” Whineray says.

He will take on his role in July. A new chief investment officer has not yet been announced. Mark Fennell is acting in this role.

NZ Super has most of its money invested internationally, with $30 billion in global markets and $5 billion in New Zealand across industries such as agriculture, farming, banking and aged care.

The fund’s one-year return was 20.7 per cent at the end of the 2017 financial year, with 4.37 per cent added above the passive reference portfolio benchmark. The fund’s 10-year return is 8.63 per cent and since inception it has returned 10.22 per cent.

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