Australia Wealth Fund Plans to Hire 70 For Investment Team

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund intends to almost double the staff on its investment team as it warns returns will be harder to generate during a protracted period of low interest rates.

The Future Fund aims to hire about 70 people over the next year to help mandate cash to hedge funds, private equity and other skill-based strategies, Chief Executive Officer Raphael Arndt said in testimony to parliament Wednesday. The firm needs more staff to find managers with skill to meet its long-term return target of 4%-5% above inflation, he added.

“The investment environment is more challenging,” he said. “To be able to meet our mandates in the period ahead, we need to ramp up our activity in a number of areas, particularly in alpha-seeking strategies.”

The expansion of the Future Fund’s about 80-strong investment team comes as record low interest rates force a reassessment of assumptions made prior to the global pandemic, prompting changes in hiring and investment focus. It’s part of a broader restructuring that began earlier this year after the fund missed its annual return target for the first time in almost a decade.

Australia Wealth Fund Plans to Hire 70 For Investment Team

The Future Fund aims to lift total staff numbers to about 350 from almost 200 through the financial year that ends in June 2022 as part of the three-year plan, Ardnt said. That includes associated support and technology roles that were once contract positions becoming permanent, he said.

“The world is fundamentally changing and markets are changing with them,” Arndt said. With a bigger team “we’re more comfortable we can meet the mandate,” he said.

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