David Smith has resigned as chief executive of Local Government Super after less than 18 months in the top job.

In a media statement on Thursday, LGS confirmed Smith’s departure and said deputy chief executive Donna Heffernan had been appointed acting chief executive.

The fund stated it was committed to delivering the best retirement outcomes for its members and reiterated its goal of reaching $15 billion in funds under management by 2021.

“This growth strategy will continue to be implemented by the LGS board and the leadership team,” the statement read.

Smith joined LGS in September 2017, replacing Peter Lambert who had been chief executive for a decade. Prior to joining the fund, Smith held CEO roles at AXIS Specialty Australia, where he spent five years, and also at Zurich Financial Services.

Heffernan, who also served as acting chief executive following Lambert’s departure, brings more than 30 years’ industry experience to the role, including 15 specialising in compliance and governance within the superannuation industry, LGS said in the statement.

Elizabeth Fry has been a financial journalist for more than 25 years and has written for a number of publications, including CFO, The Financial Times and The Australian Financial Review.