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Asset owners

Equip Super, Rio Tinto Super to merge, create A$14.2 billion fund

Equip Super, a A$8.5 billion ($6.4 billion) superannuation fund, will merge with the A$5.7 billion Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund, effective July 1, confirmed Geoff Brooks, Equip's executive officer in charge of strategic marketing and communications.

The merger of the two Melbourne, Australia-based funds, under the Equip Super name, will result in a super fund managing A$14.2 billion in assets for more than 75,000 members.

The two funds announced at the start of 2017 that they were in discussions regarding a merger.

Nicholas Vamvakas, acting CEO of Equip Super, will become CEO of the merged entity, said an Equip Super news release Monday.

Troy Rieck, executive officer, investment strategy, with Equip Super — effectively the chief investment officer role, although more focused on asset allocation than stock picking — will retain that title after the merger, said Mr. Brooks in an interview.

Wayne Grant, principal investment officer at Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund, will join Equip Super as an executive officer, focused initially on integrating and harmonizing the manager lineups of the two funds, said Mr. Brooks.

As of the June 30, 2016, close of the latest fiscal year, Equip Super listed 35 external managers to Rio Tinto's 27, of which only six — Paradice Investment Management, Baillie Gifford Overseas, AMP Capital, Resolution Capital, GPT Group and Macquarie Specialised Asset Management — managed money for both funds.

Mr. Brooks said the scale resulting from the merger should prove useful in further improving the fund's value proposition for members, delivering the broadest range of benefits at a lower cost. He left open the possibility of further combinations with other funds to drive growth, while saying there are no set targets when it comes to the fund's size.