Matt Whineray - Innovation at New Zealand Super Fund (EP.108)

September 8, 2019

Matt Whineray is the CEO of New Zealand Superannuation Fund or Super Fund, one of the highest performing, most innovative and well-regarded large-scale investment allocators in the world.  The New Zealand government created the Super Fund in 2001 to help defray the costs of retirees in the country in the decades to come.  Matt joined the organization in 2008 and became the CEO in 2018 and oversees NZ$42 billion.

Our conversation starts with Matt’s background and the creation and objectives of the Super Fund.  We then walk through the Super Fund’s investment philosophy, which is guided by four competitive advantages or endowments and nine investment beliefs.  From there, we dive into the implementation of the strategy, covering the risk allocation process, reference portfolio or benchmark of liquid assets, long-term risk budget and medium-term tactical targets across five risk baskets.  We discuss the difference between these risk allocations and a traditional asset class structure, hybrid structure employing internal and external managers, internal strategic tilting program, structure of the team, current perspectives on asset classes, ESG, scaling activities to support upcoming inflows, and culture.

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