NZ Super names acting investment chief

Alex Bacchus
NZ Super - Acting Chief Investment Officer
Date: 7 June 2024
Position: Acting Chief Investment Officer
By Elizabeth Fry

New Zealand's sovereign wealth fund has appointed an acting chief investment officer while it hunts for a replacement for Stephen Gilmore, who joins CalPERS this month.

NZ Super said Alex Bacchus will run the investment function.

Joining in 2009, Bacchis has held several roles in the risk and asset allocation teams.

Since 2014, he has led the super fund's strategic tilting programme, a contrarian investment strategy that significantly contributed to returns.

The NZ$ 70 billion fund generated a pre-tax return for the year of 16.03 per cent.

Before joining NZ Super, Bacchus worked for Goldman Sachs JBWere as director of derivatives and vice president at Merrill Lynch with the structured credit derivatives team.

Chief executive Jo Townsend, who took up her role in April, said the fund would begin the process of recruitment for a permanent chief investment officer would begin shortly and a further announcement made in due course.

Interestingly, Townsend relocated to New Zealand after heading Funds SA, which is also looking for a new chief investment officer after Richard Friend recently left the $43 billion fund.

Friend joined Funds SA in December 2016 to lead the investment team, coming across from AustralianSuper where he was an investment manager, a role he took on following its merger with AGEST Super.

He previously held senior roles with Warakirri Asset Management and Equip Super.