Future Find CIO Raphael Arndt (Pic: Nicole Cleary)

The Future Fund has promoted Raphael Arndt to chief executive officer of Australia’s $205.4 billion sovereign wealth fund after a three-month global executive search.

Arndt has spent the last five years as chief investment officer and will take over the helm in July. He succeeds David Neal who resigned in February to head up money manager IFM Investors just before the global pandemic roiled financial markets. Cameron Price, the fund’s chief risk officer, has been acting CEO since March.

Chairman Peter Costello described Arndt, who joined the Future Fund in 2008, as an “effective leader who had proved his ability to build high performing teams and organisations.”

“He has been integral to developing the way the organisation works as well as driving the development and implementation of its investment strategy,” Costello said in a statement. “His knowledge of the organisation, combined with his global perspective on institutional investment, make him an outstanding leader for the Future Fund.”

In an update last week, the Future Fund’s largest portfolio with the same name saw its assets drop $5.7 billion in the March quarter to $162.3 billion after recording a negative return of 3.4 per cent. Speaking of the result, Arndt said it was still too early to know whether the fiscal and monetary policy stimulus by governments around the world would be sufficient to offset the economic fallout from the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“The way we strengthen the government’s long-term financial position and the support our investment activity provides to areas such as medical research have never been more important,” he said in a statement Thursday. “We have excellent people and a resilient organisation. I’m looking forward to maintaining and developing these strengths particularly given the changes and challenges in the operating and investment environment.”

A process for appointing a new chief investment officer will start in due course, the fund said in a statement.

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