Matt Whineray, the CEO of New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Auckland, resigned and will leave at the end of the year, the NZ$60 billion ($37.2 billion) sovereign wealth fund said in a statement on Wednesday.
He will stay at the fund until Christmas "to lead a number of significant current programs of work which… aim to set the Guardians up for a new phase in its evolution," the statement wrote.
A spokesman clarified that the programs referred to technology initiatives such as investment data and analytics, and organizational systems such as enterprise content management "as we prepare the organization to manage a significantly bigger fund".
"The NZ Super Fund, which will have been invested for 20 years later this year, is expected to double in size over the next 10 years," the spokesman added. "Withdrawals to support universal pensions in New Zealand are expected to commence in the mid-2030s," he said.
"I am not leaving to take up a new role. I'm looking forward to having some time to think about what's next. I intend to continue my interest in the sustainable finance space — consistent with the great work that we have been doing at the Guardians," Mr. Whineray wrote in a LinkedIn post, referring to the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, which manages the fund.
The board will start its search for a replacement shortly, the NZ Super statement said.
Mr. Whineray has been at the fund for 15 years, starting as general manager for investments, then CIO from 2014 to 2018, before being promoted to CEO in 2018.
"In his five years as CEO, and previously as chief investment officer, Matt has presided over significant growth in the NZ Super Fund, well in excess of our investment performance benchmarks," Chairwoman Catherine Drayton said in the statement.
The fund had NZ$25.82 billion in assets in 2014 when he first became CIO, and NZ$39.37 billion in 2018 when he was made CEO. In 2022, NZ Super beat its reference portfolio benchmark by 7.25% despite posting a 6.99% loss.