New Chief Investment Officer Appointments

Photo: Brett Chatfield, new CIO of Cbus

Brett Chatfield

Lots of changes at the $48.6 billion* Australian fund, Cbus, as the fund has been promoting internal achievers to higher leadership positions. Brett Chatfield has been appointed the new chief investment officer of the fund, and Kristian Fok, who had been acting CEO as well as CIO, has officially been appointed CEO of the fund. Marianne Walker has been appointed deputy CEO.

Chatfield held several senior positions at Cbus for more than a decade, most recently serving as the fund’s acting Chief Investment Officer and Deputy Chief Investment Officer.

Chatfield will head the expansion of internal investment capabilities, which has seen over 38% of the Fund’s assets brought in-house, which the fund attributes to helping to save members of more than $500 million since 2017, according to a Cbus press release.
Prior to joining Cbus in 2013, Chatfield worked as an investment consultant at Frontier, institutional investment management at UniSuper, a senior investment analyst at Lonsec, and as a senior accountant at KPMG, among other roles. .
Cbus CEO Fok said, “Brett Chatfield has been integral in the development of Cbus’ highly successful investment model, which has generated incredibly strong long-term returns for our members.
 I look forward to working with Brett as he leads the investment of our members’ retirement savings and cements the strong links Cbus has through our investments in the real economy and jobs.”
Chatfield said, “Cbus is an innovative, global, long-term investor with a focus on investing in the real economy and I look forward to leading our world-class investment team. I’ll be leading a team attracted to working in a Fund that invests in a way that resonates with the membership and that link to our industries – that powerful connection with jobs, the built environment and the economy.”

Cbus reported a June 30 return of 8.9% this week. 

Kristian Fok 
Before becoming CEO, Fok was acting CEO and held the CIO position for the last 10 years. He had a close association with the fund as an asset consultant for a decade before that. As CIO, he led Cbus’ aforementioned hybrid internalization strategy,  investment strategy and worked closely with the Investment Committee of the Board on investments and governance.

The appointment comes on the heels of new board appointments, when stalwarts of Anne Donnellan and Frank O’Grady retired in December of 2022, to be replaced by AMWU National Legal Coordinator Abha Devasia, and retiring CFMMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan who returned to the Cbus Board to replace O’Grady.

Board chair Wayne Swan noted on LinkedIn, “Under Kristian’s investment leadership the fund has grown from $12 billion (AUD) in funds under management to $80 billion (AUD). Kristian embodies the best of the profit-to-member model and has an unwavering determination to achieve the best possible retirements for our members.” Fok has been at the fund since November of 2012, and, according to Swan, is only the sixth person to hold the position in 40 years.

In a press release, he noted, “He innately understands the fund, its heritage, and our connection to the built environment sector. Kristian is devoted to the profit-to-member model that underpins industry super funds and the Board looks forward to working with him to continue delivering for members.”

Andy Greene

TTC Pension Plan in Toronto essentially created a chief investment officer role for Andy Greene recently. He has been at the plan since 2017, most recently as managing director of investments. He is also chair of the investment committee of United Church of Canada and sits on the Investment Committee of York University Pension PlanPreviously, he held roles running the bulk of public market investments at OPTrust, and was a vice president of Northern Trust Corporation in Toronto.

At its inception, when TTC spun out and became a separate entity, Greene started at the fund as the sole person on the investment team for the first two years, and slowly built the platform to include a team of investment professionals to manage its assets and build the framework for the Investment Policies that reported to the Board of Directors and the Investment Committee. For him, it was a similar structure to OPTrust, but it also included private investments. 

 In the future, Greene plans to add three more people to the investment team over the next 18 months. Its 10-year annualized return has achieved 7.3%. Its highest returning asset in 2022 was real estate (much of which is a direct investment in Canadian land), global infrastructure, and private debt.  Greene is currently increasing allocations to private markets (targeting 40%) and considering geographic diversification strategies for the portfolio, among other things. 

Ralph Berg 

Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System in Toronto, was recently tapped Ralph Berg to be chief investment officer succeeding Satish Rai as of April 1. Rai, who had been CIO since 2018, was at the fund for eight years, and will "transition to an advisory role" until his retirement in late 2024.

Berg, who had been at the fund for 10 years, was promoted from his role as executive vice president and global head of capital markets, overseeing public market investments, which comprised more than half of OMERS $70.3 billion in assets. OMERS has a team that spans Toronto, London, New York, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Singapore, Sydney and other major cities across North America and Europe. It is a jointly sponsored plan, with 1,000 participating employers ranging from large cities to local agencies, and over half a million active, deferred, and retired members, according to a company press release.

*Denominations are in USD, unless otherwise noted.