Aware Super appoints deputy investment head

Damien Webb
Aware Super - Deputy Chief Investment Officer
Aware Super
Date: 14 October 2021
Position: Deputy Chief Investment Officer
By Elizabeth Fry

Aware Super has appointed Damien Webb as deputy chief investment officer as the $150 billion super fund readies for growth.

Webb joined Aware Super in 2014 as the head of income and real assets and over the past seven years has spearheaded the $150 billion super fund's investment strategy and expansion in the infrastructure, property, credit income, and agriculture asset classes.

During this time, Aware Super has invested nearly $900 million in essential worker affordable housing projects, won the exclusive right to operate the New South Wales and Victorian Land Registries and, has committed to $2 billion in loans and bonds to support Australian companies.

As deputy chief investment officer, Webb will work closely with investment chief Damian Graham to bolster the investment team as the fund moves to invest more than $250 billion in coming years.

He will also continue to lead the real assets team and bring more investment management in-house.

In addition to Webb's appointment, the industry fund has appointed Caroline Saunders to run investment governance and communications.

Saunders joined Aware Super in 2015 and has worked as senior manager of governance and due diligence for the past four years.

Graham said the structure changes laid the foundation for Aware Super to continue to deliver top performance for its members for decades to come.

"Aware Super's investment pool has doubled in size over the past five years, and we expect to be managing more than $250 billion by 2025," he said. "To prepare for this growth, we have reviewed our investment strategy and are putting plans in place now to ensure we can successfully deploy our members' savings at this scale.

"This means we need to continue to innovate our approach and consider not just today's investments but long-term trends and opportunities.

"Over the next five years, we expect to double the size of our investment team and continue to build out our internal capability as well as consider new off-shore expansion."

Additionally, Aware Super has promoted James Osborn to the newly created role of deputy chief financial officer, reporting to Tim Elliott, the head of finance, strategy, and transformation.

The super fund is looking to fill two other senior roles - head of direct asset oversight and enhancement and sector head of internal equities.