Incoming NZ Super CIO Stephen Gilmore
Incoming NZ Super CIO Stephen Gilmore

Stephen Gilmore has been appointed chief investment officer of New Zealand’s NZ$39 billion ($37 billion) sovereign wealth fund, following the elevation of Matt Whineray to chief executive after four years as CIO.

Gilmore will join New Zealand Super in late February 2019; the move follows his departure from the A$148 billion Future Fund earlier this year in a leadership restructure.

In March, Future Fund CIO Raphael Arndt took on the twin responsibilities of CIO and chief investment strategist – the latter was formerly Gilmore’s position. At the same time, former head of infrastructure and timberland Wendy Norris took up the new role of deputy CIO for private markets, while former head of debt and alternatives David George took up a second new role of deputy CIO for public markets.

Arndt told Investment Magazine the changes were in response to an operating environment that was “getting more complex” as the fund got bigger.

“It makes sense to bring the whole investment team into one group,” he said. “It’s reduced my…direct reports but, more importantly, where we’re going…we need to make sure the knowledge we have anywhere in the organisation is known to all of the fund.”

Gilmore joined the Future Fund in 2009 and was appointed chief investment strategist in September 2014, having been head of strategy since 2010. Previously, he worked in senior strategy roles in London and Hong Kong with AIG Financial Products and Morgan Stanley.

At NZ Super, native kiwi Gilmore will lead an investment team of 45 that looks after external investment managers, New Zealand and international direct investments, responsible investment, and asset allocation, including the fund’s tilting program.

NZ Super and the Future Fund have similar investment approaches; both employ a total portfolio approach (TPA) to portfolio construction and allocation.

A TPA strategy – in which the best ideas from a team operating collaboratively compete for capital constantly – can better position funds for an increasingly complex investment landscape as shifts in technology, demographics and social norms drive enormous changes in long-accepted investment methodologies, Tim Unger, a senior investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson, told an industry conference earlier this year.

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