Your account has not been activated, please check your inbox for the activation email.

Cbus forges ahead with plans to cut out ‘middle-man’

Sally Rose




Cbus has beefed up its internal investment team with the appointment of three new senior strategists.

The fund has recruited Linda Cunningham, Anna Weickart, and Alex Miller to its expanding in-house investment team.

“We are so pleased to welcome Linda, Anna, and Alex,” Cbus executive manager investment strategy Kristian Fok said.

Cunningham has been appointed a manager in the public markets debt team with oversight of the fund’s investments in alternative debt. She will also be responsible for designing and implementing internally managed strategies in this area. Cunningham was most recently executive director debt investments at IFM Investors.

Weickart has also been appointed to a newly created role in the public markets team as a senior investment analyst. She will also oversee the fund’s research of Australian and international equity managers. Weickart joins Cbus from Willis Towers Watson.

Miller joins the Cbus private markets team as an infrastructure transaction specialist. He comes from the infrastructure and projects team at KPMG.

Cunningham and Weickart are reporting to Cbus general manager public markets, Brett Chatfield. Miller, who sits in the private markets team, reports to manager infrastructure, Diana Callebaut.

All three recruits began in their new roles earlier this month.

More new roles to come

Their appointments, announced on Tuesday, are the first of a total of 25 new roles recently flagged to beef up the in-house Cbus investment team.

“We’re looking to appoint a significant number of new roles in the next few months as we go through our capability building stage,” Fok said.

“Continuing to attract people of this calibre will put us in a great position for future growth.”

As reported by Investment Magazine in August, the board of the $34 billion construction industry fund has given the green light to Fok’s strategy to insource as much as 20 per cent of asset management.

Cbus already has roughly 8 to 10 per cent of its total assets managed internally, mostly via its direct property portfolio and cash management.

More recently the fund has begun expanding its internal equities management team.

It comes as a number of the country’s largest industry funds, including AustralianSuper and UniSuper, look to take advantage of their growing scale to bring more investment decisions in-house, reducing their reliance on external fund managers.

The in-sourcing trend is driven largely by the pressure on funds to reduce their investment costs and bring down the fees they pass on to members.