Australian Ethical Super appoints responsible investing veteran to board

8 July 2024
| By Jessica Penny |
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Australian Ethical Superannuation (AES) has announced the appointment of Fiona Reynolds to its board.

Reynolds brings more than three decades of experience in responsible investing and superannuation to the role and formerly served as CEO of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a UN-supported international network of socially and environmentally responsible financial institutions.

According to Australian Ethical, Reynolds’ nine-year tenure as CEO saw the network grow to more than 4,000 signatories and 180 staff globally between 2013 and 2022.

Moreover, she holds various leadership and advisory roles with FAIRR Initiative, the UN Global Compact Network Australia, Finance for Peace, and the Office of the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner.

Australian Ethical CEO John McMurdo welcomed Reynolds and her expertise in responsible investment to the board.

“The weight of consumer expectation on our sector is growing year on year, with most Australians now expecting their super and other investments to be invested responsibly,” McMurdo said.

“Our fund continues to grow in response to this demand. Having Fiona’s significant talents on the AES board will help guide our approach and growth over the coming years.”

Speaking on her appointment, Reynolds said: “I look forward to joining the board of Australia’s leading ethical superannuation fund.

“Australians deserve retirement security, and the assurance that their superannuation is being invested for the good of people, animals, and the planet. Where we invest our money matters, and I encourage every Australian to feel empowered by that.”

Chair and non-executive director of the fund’s board Steve Gibbs similarly welcomed Reynolds to the leadership team.

“This appointment will bolster the board’s advisory capability and adds credence to our ethical investment approach, which has been baked into our foundations since 1986,” Gibbs said.

In April, Australian Ethical revealed that its funds under management (FUM) expanded 7 per cent from December to $10.33 billion at 31 March, marking a new record high.

The fund manager reported positive net inflows of $137 million for the March quarter, driven by solid superannuation net flows due to new customer growth and growing superannuation guarantee contributions.

Moreover, the firm saw strong investment performance during the quarter of $531 million, with some $380 million attributable to super.

At the time, McMurdo said that these results point to the success of the firm’s growth strategy, which has seen it increase scale to “serve the growing addressable market more effectively”.

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