Influential women: Q&A with Anne-Marie Corboy on HESTA and beyond

Anne-Marie Corboy, one of Australia's longest-serving industry fund chief executives, will step down as CEO of HESTA next month after serving 16 years in the top role. We ask Anne-Marie about her time at the fund, why this is the right time to move on, and the plans she has for the future.

ANNE-MARIE CORBOY

Anne-Marie Corboy, one of Australia's longest-serving industry fund chief executives, will step down as CEO of HESTA next month after serving 16 years in the top role. We ask Anne-Marie about her time at the fund, why this is the right time to move on, and the plans she has for the future.

What made the time right for you to leave HESTA?

It is always difficult to pinpoint a time - it was going to be some time in the next three years. It is always a good idea to leave an organisation when it is going really well and that is certainly the case here.

What do you feel have been your greatest achievements in the last 16 years as CEO?

* Producing strong long term returns and being one of the first funds to offer a free advice service to our members so they can make informed choices about their super.
* Developing a great management group with the growth of the organisation, the majority of whom are women.
* Recognised as an advocate for public policy positions which will benefit low and middle income earners where women are in the majority.
* A somewhat unique default insurance fund that we were able to maintain throughout the MySuper approval process.
* The appointment of an Investments and Governance Manager to highlight our leadership role in the Corporate Governance area.
* The introduction of Eco Pool - a first for the industry.
* Retaining so many women staff after taking parental leave and being able to accommodate many staff requests in relation to time fraction worked.
* Our widely recognised, strong inclusive culture.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the incoming CEO?

* The increased competitive environment as the industry changes and matures.
* Dealing with the political agendas that industry funds face.
* Managing our growth - investments, personnel and facilities.
* Maintaining HESTA's culture.

What comes next?

Non-executive director roles. I am currently a director of Netball Australia and I will be a director of Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA) from March and the Mother's Day Classic Foundation. I am in discussion with some other organisations in the financial services area.
Some flexibility in my work life will also allow more time for children and grandchildren.

What was your very first job?

My first job - part-time when I was at school - was as a collator at the TAB (before it was all electronic!!)

What is your favourite charity and why?

I have a few charities that I support - the Mother's Day Classic and National Breast Cancer Foundation, Hands Across the Water, Peter Mac (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and Vinnies.