Greg Combet takes on government net-zero role

14 June 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Industry Super Australia (ISA) chair, Greg Combet, is to step down from the after five years in the role as he takes on a role in the government’s Net Zero Economy Agency.

Combet first joined the ISA board as deputy chair in 2017 and was appointed chair in 2018, seeing the group through the Hayne royal commission and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Combet has now been appointed by the Prime Minister to take a full-time chair of the new Net Zero Economy Agency from 10 July. Within this, he will guide the agency to ensure that the workers, industries, and communities that have powered Australia for generations can seize the opportunities of the net-zero transformation. 

He will be supported by an advisory board to design and establish the legislated Net Zero Authority.

A government statement described him as being "uniquely qualified to lead the Agency, with expertise in government, investment, climate policy and industrial relations, as well as holding qualifications in coal mining engineering"

He had previously worked as minister for climate change and energy efficiency. 

His resignation would take effect from 30 June and the ISA board would meet before this to decide on a replacement.

ISA chief executive, Bernie Dean, said: “It’s hard to overstate the impact Greg has had. He leaves the super system and the nation fairer, wealthier, and better prepared for the future. Millions of members can be confident they’ll be more financially secure thanks to the reforms Greg has helped ISA drive.

“Greg brought a laser-like focus to bettering the retirement outcomes of Australian workers, epitomising the member-first ethos our directors bring when they step into the boardroom.”

Combet said: “ISA is a highly effective peak organisation, relentless in promoting the best financial interests of fund members and ways to improve the operation of the superannuation system.

“It has been a privilege to serve as chair and work with the talented team at ISA led by the chief executive Bernie Dean, and previously, David Whiteley.”

As well as his ISA role, he had also stepped down from his role as chair at asset manager IFM Investors after 10 years on the board. The IFM board is expected to announce a new chair later this month.

In a statement, Combet noted the consistent outperformance of IFM funds, landmark transactions like Sydney Airport, strong financial results, and significant global growth in clients during his tenure.

“I am immensely privileged to have served as a director, deputy chair and then chair during this time. IFM invests on behalf of industry super funds and global pension funds to benefit their members. This purpose makes IFM a distinct funds management business, one that aligns with my own values in representing working people,” he commented.

“The importance of industry super funds to the retirement security of millions of people and to the future economic resilience of Australia reflects both the achievements of the past and the strength of the current leadership of the sector.”

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