Legalsuper appoints investment chief

Paul Murray
legalsuper - Chief Investment Officer
Date: 27 March 2024
Position: Chief Investment Officer
By Jamie Williamson

Paul Murray took over as chief investment officer at legalsuper on March 11, succeeding Norman Zhang who departed in December 2023 for a role at Koda Capital.

Murray was most recently interim head of alternatives at Future Fund, a role he took on after serving as director, portfolio strategy for one year. He left Future Fund in mid-2022, becoming a Fellow of US think tank AIF Global's Center for Private Capital Investing.

Previously, he spent more than 16 years at Victorian Funds Management Corporation, first as head of asset class - debt and absolute returns, and then as head of portfolio management.

He's also previously worked at Macquarie and Bankers Trust and spent three years at the Reserve Bank of Australia as an analyst.

The fund said Murray's role "is central to the future strategic direction of the fund," adding that his experience will "assist to develop and execute our plans."

Meantime, Colin Adamson joined the fund as chief commercial officer.

Adamson brings a raft of experience, including as head of group strategy at NAB, head of corporate super at AMP and later head of AMP Bank strategy, and several senior leadership roles within Commonwealth Bank's retail division.

He was most recently chief customer officer at Elula, a financial services software provider, before joining the super fund.

Finally, Alissa Knight has joined the fund's Office of the CEO & Strategy.

Knight has been on a career break since August 2022, with her most recent role as general manager, strategy and CEO office at AIA Australia. In total, Knight spent about 17 years with the life insurer across two different stints in both Australia and Hong Kong. She's also previously been a solicitor with MinterEllison.

Commenting on the appointments, legalsuper chief executive Luke Symons said: "I'm personally very excited about the next phase of growth for legalsuper."

"Paul, Colin, and Alissa each represent best-in-market talent in their respective fields - all with exceptional professional credentials from organisations including the Future Fund, Macquarie Bank, the Reserve Bank, NAB, AIA, MinterEllison and VFMC - and are perfectly placed to help drive our strategic direction.

"Importantly, in addition to their outstanding professional competencies, each of our new executive team members brings with them strong academic qualifications and personal values aligned with legalsuper's innovation and growth agenda as the only super fund specialising in Australia's legal sector."

He added that legalsuper is focused on evolving the fund's differentiated offer and driving excellence in growth as the super landscape becomes increasingly competitive.

"We are actively developing our enhanced member proposition that will further leverage our position of being a truly differentiated super fund that most effectively meets the needs of our legal-community members as they plan for and enter retirement," Symons, who joined in April 2023, said.

"As the super sector continues to experience increased regulation, consolidation and competition, being able to effectively provide meaningful member services and benefits through a genuine, differentiated offer will deliver legalsuper true competitive advantage as Australia's specialist fund for the legal profession."

The fund also now has John Robinson as executive manager, business enablement and risk, a role he took on in mid-December. He brings more than 14 years' experience in superannuation and is responsible for technology, operations, insurance, line 1 risk and projects.

In addition to appointments, legalsuper's executive lineup has also seen some departures in recent months.

In January, the fund's executive manager, people and culture Jessica Lancashire left. This was one month on from the departure of chief member officer Carrie Norman after three years at the fund.

Lancashire resigned from the fund to relocate to Queensland's Sunshine Coast for a role with Campbell Construction Co, while Norman said she is looking forward to exploring new opportunities.