Global hunt begins for $166B pension fund leader

Australian Retirement Trust, the country’s second largest pension fund, is scouring the world for a new chief executive officer after Bernard Reilly announced he was stepping down.

Reilly, who will leave in February, oversaw the largest merger to date in Australia’s fast-growing pensions industry when Sunsuper and QSuper combined last year. The new firm’s assets under management have since swollen to more than A$260 billion ($166 billion). 

Reilly joined Sunsuper as CEO in October 2019 before eventually taking on the role as ART’s head. The fund has now appointed Egon Zehnder to start a global search for a new boss, according to a statement on Thursday.

Australia’s A$3.5 trillion pension industry has undergone a period of rapid growth and a wave of mergers as compulsory employer contributions fuel record inflows. The industry has been attracting interest in both Wall Street and London as it outgrows its own backyard and seeks lucrative deals in private markets abroad.

“This has been an enormous decision for my family and me, but I know that I am stepping away at the right time for Australian Retirement Trust,” Reilly said on Thursday.

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