First State Super names new CIO

Damian Graham has been appointed chief investment officer of the $56bn Sydney-based superannuation fund.

First State Super acting chief investment officer Damian Graham has been permanently appointed to the role, according to a statement from the Australian superannuation fund.

Graham was first appointed as First State Super’s acting chief investment officer in August 2016 following Richard Brandweiner’s announcement to step down as CIO to join London-based impact investing firm LeapFrog Investments.

As CIO Graham will be responsible for the combined assets of both First State Super and StatePlus, which stands at around A$75 billion ($56 billion; €52 billion) in in listed and direct assets.

First State Super chief executive Michael Dwyer described Graham as “a leader amongst a new vanguard of investment chiefs that are overseeing a shift amongst major institutional investors to insource senior investment expertise and make direct investments on behalf of its members”.

Before joining the fund, Graham was CIO of financial planning company StatePlus, which was acquired by First State Super for around A$1 billion in May this year. Prior to StatePlus Graham was head of investments for Macquarie Private Portfolio Management and held senior positions with Norwich Investment Management and JPMorgan Investment Management.

First State Super allocates about 17.6 percent of its assets to alternatives, comprised mainly of real estate and infrastructure assets including Sydney’s International Convention Centre, and the Barangaroo business precinct.