Australian Retirement Trust to double sustainable investments team

The $155bn super fund is recruiting for eight new roles to double down on its sustainable investing commitment.

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Super fund Australian Retirement Trust (ART) is recruiting for eight newly created roles in its sustainable investments team to “further drive implementation of ESG and climate change activities” across its A$240 billion ($155 billion, €141 billion) portfolio.

The move comes amid action in Australia on environmental initiatives including a sustainable taxonomy and climate disclosure requirements.

In July, the treasury closed a second consultation on mandatory climate disclosures, which saw ASFI and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) call for the government to fully align with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

Then last week, the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI) launched the development phase of the country’s taxonomy with the appointment of a technical expert group (TEG), which is expected to convene and begin initial discussions at the end of August.

ART is expanding its work on sustainable investment amid the ongoing national developments in preparation for the upcoming release of its net-zero 2050 roadmap, which will outline its current climate-related interim targets, as well as proposed actions to support the climate transition in its portfolio.

The super fund’s sustainable investing team is led by head of sustainable investment Nicole Bradford, who joined in May last year following six years at Cbus Super, where she was global head of responsible investment.

Bradford said the fund’s 2.2 million members are becoming “far more conscious” of ESG issues, with growing demand to understand how their pensions are meeting sustainable objectives.

ART has not yet provided any job descriptions, but said it is seeking candidates with expertise in stewardship, ESG integration, research, impact investing, managing SRI options, and ESG data and analytics.

The new positions include: senior portfolio manager of ESG member choice options and impact investments; four portfolio manager roles across research and reporting, ESG member choice options, impact investments, and public markets stewardship; two senior portfolio analysts respectively covering private markets ESG integration and stewardship and ESG data and analytics; and an associate portfolio manager for public markets ESG integration.

The super fund has solicited expressions of interest, which will close on 25 August.

The existing team includes sustainable investment portfolio managers James Cheetham, Daniel Smith and Natasha Traugott, and portfolio analysts Nina Haysler and Jessica-Anne Collier.

Former Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) senior lawyer Graeme Barry also acts as special counsel for regulatory and sustainable investments to the fund.