Legalsuper hunts for CIO and CFO

Norman Zhang
legalsuper - Chief Investment Officer
Date: 12 September 2023
Position: Chief Investment Officer
By Elizabeth Fry

Legalsuper investment chief Norman Zhang has resigned to join Koda Capital in December as the independent private wealth manager moves to beef up its investment team.

Zhang will replace Brigette Leckie who will continue her other role as chief economist.

Koda's new investment chief won't be starting immediately. He will stay on at legalsuper until December.

Chief executive Luke Symons wished Zhang well as he pursues a different career path.

"He has been a highly valued member of the fund and contributed very strongly to our outstanding culture," Symons said

The chief executive is now looking for a new investment chief as well as a chief financial officer.

"We are well progressed with our search for the newly created role of chief Fiancial Officer to support our growth agenda and now look forward to appointing a new chief investment officer to play a key role in building on our demonstrable strengths in delivering strong, net investment returns and providing excellent members services and support."

In advising of his decision to leave legalsuper, Zhang called the fund a "fantastic" organisation - one that is prepared to innovate and make long-term decisions for the benefit of the members.

"I want to personally thank the board, the staff, and specifically the chair Kirsten Mander, Richard Fleming, the investment committee chair and Symons for their support and leadership over the years."

Symons noted that legalsuper's MySuper balanced option, where the majority of the fund's members are invested, recorded a solid return of 7.92 per cent for the year to 30 June 2023 - delivering a top-quartile performance when measured over the past two years combined.

"It recorded a solid return of 7.69 per cent over the last three years, outperforming the SuperRatings median of 7.39 per cent by 0.3 per cent through an economic cycle which saw continued significant investment market volatility," he added

"Importantly, this continues a longer-term trend of outperformance, with legalsuper's MySuper balanced option returns having been higher than the SuperRatings median over 3, 5, 7 and 10 years."

Before joining the $5.4 billion super fund that covers employees in the legal community, Zhang served as investment chief at Media Super between 2017 and 2020.

Before that, he worked as an investment consultant at Frontier for nearly six years and held multiple consulting roles at Ernst & Young before that.

As for other changes in the Koda Capital investment team, Hegai Netser arrived as the head of investment research for private markets and opportunistic portfolios.

Netser joins from Mercer, where he served as an investment consultant.

He also held the roles of investment chief and portfolio manager at family office Maven WM and Clarity Capital, respectively.

Terusha Ramchund joins as a responsible investment specialist arriving from Platypus Asset Management, where she carried out a similar role.

Earlier this year, Koda welcomed James Gouldson as head of managed portfolios and Matt Hawgood as an investment analyst.

Another hire was Cassandra Hinze appointed chief client officer in February.

Hinze was previously at AMP.