Qantas Super welcomes new private markets lead

29 February 2024
| By Rhea Nath |
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Qantas Super has appointed its head of sustainability and impact, Allan Chen, to the role of head of private markets.

In the new role, Chen will be responsible for leading investment in private markets across the real asset, private equity, venture capital, and impact space.

He will report directly to Andrew Spence, chief investment officer at the $8.4 billion fund.

Chen has over 15 years of experience in financial services. Prior to Qantas Super, he served as chief financial officer of Better Medical, a portfolio company of healthcare-focused private equity firm Livingbridge, for a year and a half.

He was associate director at Goldman Sachs for almost three and a half years and was a manager for financial modelling at PwC Australia for more than five years.

Qantas Super, one of Australia’s largest corporate superannuation funds with some 26,300 members, was established in 1939 for people who are working for, or have worked for, the Qantas Group, and their spouses.

It is currently exploring merger opportunities, having announced in September 2023 its intentions to explore a merger with a larger fund.

Confirming the news last year, the trustee’s chief executive Michael Clancy said: “Any potential merger partner would need to demonstrate their ability to administer defined benefit entitlements and provide our members with equivalent rights to benefits they currently have in Qantas Super. We would also seek to improve member services and lower fees and costs.”

The fund explained it is “prudent to explore merger options for the future” and the decision follows a careful review of Qantas Super’s scale, growth path, and the legislative and regulatory environment.

In December, it said the fund is likely to grow at a slower rate than its competitors as it only has one membership base, has less ability to reduce fees for members, and the impact of COVID-19 on its workforce and it would be best to explore merger options while the fund has competitive investment performance and products rather than wait until they are forced to by APRA in the future.

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