TelstraSuper names new technology executive

Corporate superannuation fund TelstraSuper is driving ahead with its technology and business transformation with the appointment of a new executive general manager technology.

Karen Symes, who has been the chief information and innovation officer at Guild Group since 2010, will take over the role following a comprehensive search.

Prior to Guild Group, Symes was head of business systems and technology at Equity Trustees for eight years, and senior manager, technology services group with ANZ.

TelstraSuper's chief executive officer Chris Davies said he is delighted to have attracted a senior technology executive of such calibre.

"TelstraSuper has built an enviable reputation as an innovator and Karen Symes will be instrumental in supporting the organisation deliver critical and innovative solutions for our members," Davies said.

"Karen's proven ability to lead and transform technology programs is a real asset for our fund."

In May, TelstraSuper announced a new partnership with listed private equity company IP Group which invests in companies that are in the early stages of technology and innovation emanating from university research.

The group partners with top-ranked universities and institutional investors, sourcing scientific ideas from its university partners, and provides finance and expertise to develop that intellectual property into investment-grade companies.

TelstraSuper made an investment of $35 million in IP Group to help fund a planned $200 million over 10 years in investments in spin-out companies based on the intellectual property developed by academics at the eight universities.

The investment was made through TelstraSuper's Private Equity Market Portfolio by purchasing a stake in London Stock Exchange-listed IP Group.

TelstaSuper announced double digital investment returns for members for the year to 30 June 2017. For their balanced fund, the accumulation product returned 11.4%, while RetireAccess returned 12.9%.

Read more: TelstraSuperIP GroupGuild GroupKaren SymesSuperannuationChris Davies
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