Scott Hartley, CEO, Sunsuper

Sunsuper’s chair Andrew Fraser has appointed recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to lead the search for a new chief executive to replace the fund’s chief executive, Scott Hartley, who announced his resignation last Friday.

Fraser said the $66 billion Queensland-based superannuation fund has strong internal candidates who he anticipates will throw their hats into the ring to succeed Hartley.

The Sunsuper chair said the next five years will be defined by a rise in competitive forces and the new “modus operandi” of the regulators.

“As such, we will be looking for a leader who knows how to compete in the market place and also one who will be comfortable dealing with dynamic rather than static regulation.”

“He, or she, will face a tremendous set of challenges. But there are also great opportunities with a fund that has grown and has proven it can succeed so I expect many people will be looking at the opportunity to take on the role of chief executive.”

Speaking about the chief executive’s decision to leave, Fraser said it was a “planned outcome” and one that recognises that the business is in a strong position.

“Scott has ambitions of another role but picking the moment to implement a transition is always challenge.”

Since Hartley took on the role in 2013, the fund has grown from a $25 billion fund with one million members to having over $66 billion in funds under management and 1.4 million members.

“He [Hartley] set himself some big targets and he feels that he has achieved these and wants a new challenge. We understand that… and it’s possible for him to pursue them because the organisation is in good shape.”

Fraser said he overwhelmingly believes the superannuation industry will be defined by scale and that Sunsuper is strongly positioned to deal with what comes next.

The Sunsuper chair pointed out that the fund had been very strong in the corporate tender market and achieved two of the more significant mergers in the industry – Kinetic Super and AustSafe Super.

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