The $150 billion AustralianSuper has appointed Don Russell, a former State Super chair, as a new independent director to its board.

Russell has extensive finance experience having previously worked as BNY Mellon Asset Management Australia’s global investment strategist.

He acted as principle adviser to Paul Keating during Keating’s terms as Treasurer and Prime Minister from 1985 to 1993. For the three years after this, he served as Australia’s ambassador to the US.

AustralianSuper chair, Heather Ridout, said the fund was fortunate to have someone of Russell’s ability and experience joining the board.

“Don has an exceptional background in a wide variety of sectors and brings a deep understand of finance, superannuation and public policy to AustralianSuper,” she said.

“As someone who was instrumental in the establishment of the Superannuation Guarantee, Don has a deep appreciation of the important role super plays in the lives of working Australians.”

Russell has a PhD from the London School of Economics, a MEc from ANU and a BEc (Hons) from Flinders University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification (CFA).

The AustralianSuper board now comprises two independent director, five directors nominated on behalf of members and five directors nominated on behalf of employer.

Separately, the chair of  Suncorp Portfolio Services is retiring and an interim chair has been appointed.

Jan Swinhoe, who is also chair of Mercer Superannuation, was appointed interim chair of Suncorp’s  superannuation arm.

Her appointment follows the retirement of Jim Evans who will join the ME Bank board as chair.

Swinhoe has over 30 years of experience in the financial services sector, including as a former general manager of Westpac Private Bank.

In addition to Mercer, she also serves as a non-executive director of IMB Limited, Australian Philanthropic Services and Swiss Re, and is deputy chair of Athletics Australia.

The newly-appointed interim chair has been a member of the Suncorp Portfolio Services board since August 2013 and is also chair of the Suncorp Portfolio Services Trustee Investment Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.




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