25 June 2020
HESTA announces new Head of Portfolio Design as part of redefined investment leadership structure
Stephanie Weston has today been unveiled as HESTA’s first Head of Portfolio Design, filling a key senior role in the Fund’s new investment leadership team structure.
Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said the highly anticipated appointment was a crucial step in the Fund’s push to build new teams and capabilities for direct management of a growing, significant pool of assets.
“Our new investment leadership team structure is part of our ambitious and broad strategy to internalise asset management and continue delivering excellent performance for our members over the long term,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.
“Stephanie joins us as a seasoned leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the Australian financial market, bringing a breadth of knowledge and expertise gained from an impressive career spanning central banking, investment consulting and senior financial services roles.
“I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie to the team as we continue to boost our internal investment capabilities and deepen relationships with our key trading partners.”
Reporting directly to the CIO, Ms Weston will focus on the ‘top down’ aspects of HESTA’s portfolios, including construction and risk analysis, economic and market research, and strategic tilting.
She will also work closely with the Investment Execution team to manage and minimise execution risks while ensuring portfolios are responsive to market conditions and opportunities.
The appointment is the first of the two new ‘Heads of’ roles announced in March, with the Head of Portfolio Management yet to be announced.
HESTA Chief Executive Officer Debby Blakey said she was delighted to have Stephanie join the team.
“Stephanie’s appointment will enhance an already innovative and leading investment team that has strong plans for growth,” Ms Blakey said.
“We need the right blend of expertise, capability and seniority to foster the development and growth of the Investments function and keep delivering strong returns for our members, especially as our Fund size grows.”
Ms Weston has held a range of significant roles in financial services and joins HESTA after 15 years at the Reserve Bank of Australia, followed by CIO positions with AMP Life and Genworth Australia. Prior to joining HESTA, Ms Weston was also was also a member of Australian Super’s Investment Committee for five years.
“I am very excited to be joining Debby, Sonya and the team at HESTA. The current investment environment is challenging; so it is the right time to be focussing on overall portfolio design, and thinking about how to optimise risk-adjusted returns,” Ms Weston said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made me even more aware of how critical nurses and other service providers are to our communities. I am inspired to do the best I can to help HESTA’s members meet their retirement goals.”
Ms Weston commenced today in her new role.