AustralianSuper appoints strategy and corporate affairs lead

10 July 2023
| By Rhea Nath |
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Australia’s largest superannuation fund has named Paula Benson, IFM Investors’ global head of marketing, brand, and communications, as its new chief officer of strategy and corporate affairs.

Commencing 18 September, Benson will be responsible for delivering fund-wide global strategic guidance as $300 billion fund AustralianSuper grows to $500 billion within the next five years.

The fund recently announced its Balanced option has delivered 8.2 per cent over the last financial year.

“As a very experienced corporate executive, Paula has impressed us with her strategic and innovative approach to corporate and public affairs and her commitment to delivering positive commercial and societal outcomes for members,” said AustralianSuper chief executive, Paul Schroder.

“Paula’s experience will be important in driving forward our global strategic positioning, advocacy and engagement as we deliver on our purpose of helping members achieve their best possible financial position in retirement.”

Her experience spans roles in funds management, banking, resources, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Since 2020, Benson has led IFM Investors’ global marketing and communications. 

She was a non-executive director at the Victorian Funds Management Corporation for almost four years and was at NAB for over four and a half years, first as a general manager for corporate responsibility and then executive general manager of corporate affairs. 

In 2021, she was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for her significant service to people living with ovarian cancer and to business.

Commenting on her appointment, Benson said: “Working with purpose and delivering commercial outcomes are some of my key drivers and I am delighted to join AustralianSuper at this important moment and to play a key role in supporting global growth ambitions in order to deliver outcomes for members.

“I have been incredibly impressed by the culture of members first at the fund and it will be a privilege to join the team and deliver on our purpose of helping members achieve their best financial position in retirement. 

“There are few greater honours than to play a role in ensuring hardworking Australians have dignity in retirement.”

The super fund recently named Damian Moloney as deputy chief investment officer, alongside his responsibilities as head of investments in Europe, in its ambitions to open global offices and participate in capital markets around the world. 

Presently, it has around half of its around $300 billion invested outside Australia, with around $85 billion invested in the US and almost $40 billion invested in the UK and Europe.

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