Raff Arndt is the Chief Investment Officer of Australia’s AUZ$145 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Future Fund. He trained as an engineer and dove into infrastructure policy at the beginning of Australia’s privatizations in the late 1990s. After investing in the space for six years, he joined the Future Fund in 2008 to head the infrastructure team. Six years later, Raff became CIO.
Our conversation spans all aspects of the management of a next generation institutional portfolio, including a one team, one portfolio philosophy, disaggregating beta and factors from skill in public markets, separating the impact of leverage and timing from skill in private markets, venture capital and co-investment opportunities in a large pool of capital, the option value of flexibility, the team required to make decisions in this format, compensation, fees, views on China, and the current market environment.
Australia created the Future Fund only eleven years ago with a mandate to compound capital for twenty years before even contemplating withdrawals. It has been described to me as a pool of capital with the size and transparency of CalPERS and the sophistication of Yale. I’m sure you’ll soon understand why.