HESTA has appointed Michael Sommers as General Manager Portfolio Construction & Risk.
Sommers will be responsible for managing the strategic asset allocation and risk budgeting process and will report to Stephanie Weston, Head of Portfolio Design, who joined the $56 billion superannuation fund in June 2020.
“Strengthening our portfolio construction and risk management is key to our overall investment strategy that aims to continue delivering competitive, long-term investment performance for our 870,000-plus members,” Sonya Sawtell-Rickson, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of HESTA, said.
“With over 20 years’ experience in financial services, Michael has a proven track record in portfolio construction, derivative and alternatives strategies and risk management that will complement the skills and capabilities of our existing Investment team talent. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the team.”
Sommers at Frontier
Sommers joins HESTA from Frontier Advisors, where he was Head of Alternatives and Derivatives for the past seven years. There, he was responsible for leading a team covering research and specialist advice to clients on derivative strategies, alternative investments, risk management and portfolio construction.
Prior to Frontier Advisors, Michael worked in London as Executive Director at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), overseeing the market risk management of all London trading desks as well as the global FX options desk.
He also had senior market and credit risk roles at HBOS Treasury and Lloyds.
In March 2020, HESTA announced a new investment leadership team structure and plans to internalise some asset management functions.
In September 2020, the fund appointed Alan Sheen as Head of Portfolio Management, who joined the fund from Dalton Street Capital, while in May it appointed Matt Cameron as General Manager, Investment Risk. Cameron joined the fund from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was a managing director for Global Markets.
The internalisation program is scheduled to be implemented in Australian Equities in 2021 and be underway in cash and fixed interest asset classes in 2022.
“Our asset pool is growing, and Michael’s appointment will help us ensure HESTA continues to be well positioned as a leading global investor with a strong track record of performance,” Sawtell-Rickson said.
[i3] Insights is the official educational bulletin of the Investment Innovation Institute [i3]. It covers major trends and innovations in institutional investing, providing independent and thought-provoking content about pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds across the globe.