VicSuper PM jumps for industry fund

The portfolio manager for responsible investments at VicSuper has resigned ahead of the fund's merger with First State Super, jumping ship for an industry super fund.

Kim Farrant has been appointed as the head of ESG at Hostplus.

She had been with VicSuper for more than two years, leading the super fund's responsible and impact investment strategy and ESG integration.

A VicSuper spokesperson confirmed Farrant's resignation.

"Kim Farrant has resigned and left VicSuper with our very best wishes. Kim has gone to an industry super fund," she said.

Hostplus chief executive David Elia said Farrant brought with her a wealth of technical experience and interpersonal skills to the fund.

"Kim is a very experienced practitioner, having 15 years' experience as a responsible investment and sustainability professional, combining technical expertise in ESG issues; a commercially minded approach to implementation; and strong engagement and communication skills," he said.

The VicSuper spokesperson said the fund would not be looking for a replacement.

"Due to the expected merger between First State Super and VicSuper in mid-2020, we will not fill the responsible investment portfolio manager role at this time," she said.

"First State Super and VicSuper are strongly aligned in our approach to RI, and the investments team is working closely with Liza McDonald, the head of responsible investment at First State Super to share information on how the two funds can work effectively together in the RI space when we merge."

VicSuper thanked Farrant for her work at the super fund.

"Due to Kim's work in her role as responsible investment portfolio manager at VicSuper, our fund is well ahead of our ambitious target of having $3 billion invested in investments that contribute to sustainable outcomes by mid-2020 and well set up to deliver for our members," the spokesperson said.

"We thank Kim for all her work as the responsible investment portfolio manager at VicSuper and wish her all the best in her new role."

Prior to her role at VicSuper, Farrant worked as a director of climate change and sustainability services at EY. She also held several senior roles with sustainability consultant Net Balance Management Group previous to her work at EY, and began her career as a structural engineer at Kellogg Brown and Root.

Read more: VicSuperFirst State SuperEYKim FarrantHostplusNet Balance Management GroupDavid Elia
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