First State Super chief executive to retire by end of year

Michael Dwyer announced his retirement on Thursday and will remain in post until a successor is appointed.

First State Super chief executive Michael Dwyer will retire at the end of his contract on 30 November, the Australian superfund announced on Thursday.

The search for a new chief executive is underway and Dwyer will remain in his role until his replacement settles into the job later this year, according to a statement.

Dwyer assumed the role in 2004 and was previously general manager of Asset Super, now part of CareSuper. He is also a director at the Association of Super Funds of Australia.

First State Super had A$63.7 billion ($48.0 billion; €40.6 billion) of assets under management as at 30 June, and A$18.2 billion through StatePlus, the financial planning company it purchased in 2016. When Dwyer took over, the organisation had approximately A$9 billion in funds under management.

The fund established its private equity and venture capital programme in 2013 and has backed fund of funds manager ROC Partners and venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, according to PEI data. First State’s venture capital programme has an invested exposure of A$400 million in Australia and the US. The investor plans to expand this to Asia, deploying up to $75 million each to about three managers in the next two to three years, as previously reported by PEI.

In infrastructure and real assets, it has invested with GPs including Brookfield Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, IFM Investors, Blue Sky Water and Orion Energy Partners.

In a statement, Dwyer said: “First State Super is very well positioned for the future. It’s the right time to transition to new leadership. I look forward to continuing to lead the team until my retirement.”

First State Super chairman Neil Cochrane added: “The significant expansion and development of First State Super [since Dwyer’s appointment] can in large part be attributed to Michael’s strategic leadership and the importance he places on personal engagement and fostering a strong and inclusive workplace culture. Michael’s leadership, integrity and values have formed the basis of our success as an organisation.”