AustralianSuper, Melbourne, will expand its investment team by as much as 40% over the next 12 months, including hiring as many as 10 global equities managers.
The superannuation fund, which holds more than A$78 billion ($69 billion) in retirement savings, will also add a team focused on smaller Australian companies along with infrastructure and property managers, Mark Delaney, deputy CEO and chief investment officer, said in an interview Wednesday. The number of staffers on the investment team will increase to more than 130 from 100, Mr. Delaney said.
AustralianSuper, which like its peers had previously paid external managers to invest nearly all its assets, wants to cut management costs by A$150 million a year within four years, it said in October. The fund already has in-house teams overseeing some of its Australian equities, infrastructure, property and cash holdings.
“Global equities is next,” Mr. Delaney said. “We have started the recruitment process. We think it could take up to a year.”
The superannuation fund will hire as many as 10 people to manage global equities, about three to invest in small-cap stocks, two each for infrastructure and property and about four people for its credit market assets, Mr. Delaney said. The rest of the additions will be in the manager's back office, he said.
International equities made up a quarter of the fund's assets as of June 2013, up from 18% the previous year, according to its latest annual report. Australian shares accounted for 29% of assets in June 2013, down from 30% a year earlier.
The fund still favors global stocks, with U.S. equities the “most attractive,” while some credit markets were fully priced, Mr. Delaney said.
AustralianSuper has also tried to maintain a greater proportion of funds in property and infrastructure assets compared with the benchmarks that it tracks.
“It has been hard to hold the weight in those asset classes as the equity market has gone up and the money has come in,” Mr. Delaney said.