Mark Burgess departs HESTA for ART

Mark Burgess
HESTA - Chair of HESTA's Investment Committee
Date: 28 February 2023
Position: Chair of HESTA's Investment Committee
By Elizabeth Fry

High-profile HESTA investment committee chair Mark Burgess will leave the industry fund board and join Australian Retirement Trust.

The former Future Fund chief executive and Yarra Capital chair will join ART as a director and an investment committee member.

HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said since then, Burgess participated in a period of significant growth including building an internal team initially to manage Australian equities and now fixed interest and cash.

"When Mark joined us, we were appointing a new investment chief and were embarking on a bold and exciting vision for the future of investments at HESTA," Blakey said.

"Mark has been a much-valued source of insight and guidance over many years that's supported us to keep building the capacity of our investment team to deliver strong, long-term investment performance for our more than one million members in the years ahead."

HESTA chair Nicola Roxon added that Burgess had overseen a significant period of change at the $70 billion industry fund, including executing its internalisation strategy and ongoing leadership in responsible investment.

"As the inaugural chair of HESTA's Investment Committee, Mark has helped guide the realisation of our investment strategy that's seen us continue as a leading global investor delivering strong, competitive, long-term returns for members," Roxon said.

"I'd like to thank Mark for his contribution that's continued to build on the Fund's focus on investment excellence with impact and strong track record of performance."

HESTA is finalising his replacement to both the HESTA board as an independent director and to chair the investment committee.

Since joining the fund, Burgess has helped oversee landmark investment decisions, including developing HESTA's first climate change transition plan.

This saw HESTA become the first major Australian super fund to announce an ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its portfolio.

The fund has subsequently lifted to 50 per cent an interim target it set in 2020 to achieve a 33% reduction in normalised emissions by 2030 against a 2020 baseline.

Meantime, the $240 billion ART has also appointed former deputy central bank governor Guy Debelle as investment committee advisor.

Debelle is a Fortescue Future Industries director who previously chaired the climate change working group of the Australian Council of Financial Regulators.

Also joining the board is Linda Apelt a former QSuper director and agent-general for Queensland to the UK.

ART chair Andrew Fraser said all three of our new appointees are exceptional leaders.

"As we seek to invest more than $240 billion on behalf of 2.2 million members who trust us with their retirement savings, these new appointments bring a wealth of experience in investment markets and in critical areas of focus and opportunity," he said

"The collective national and international experience and insight of our new appointees will benefit the fund as we seek returns in Australia and abroad.

"We look forward to the contribution of these high-calibre leaders in helping Australian Retirement Trust deliver on our vision to be Australia's most chosen and trusted retirement partner."