Australian Ethical makes 3 senior Investment Committee hires; invests in adviser channel amid continued record growth

Australian Ethical makes 3 senior Investment Committee hires; invests in adviser channel amid continued record growth

SYDNEY, April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Australia’s original responsible investment and super fund manager Australian Ethical has made three senior hires in its Investment Committee, to further boost its leadership in ethical and ESG asset allocation as ethical investing becomes best practice due to burgeoning demand.

John McMurdo, CEO & MD of Australian Ethical
John McMurdo, CEO & MD of Australian Ethical

Sean Henaghan is the current CIO of Aurora Capital and former CIO of AMP Capital Multi-Asset Group, and has proven leadership of a substantial investment business with over $100 billion of assets across a range of multi-asset investments.

Sandra McCullagh is a current non-executive director (NED) of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), a former NED of QSuper, and established the ESG equities research capability at Credit Suisse Australia.

Steve Rankine is the former Head of Asset Management at Hastings Funds Management and, prior to that, MD of Debt Capital Markets at Westpac Institutional Bank. He now sits on several investment committees and boards across funds management, infrastructure, and insurance.

The three new hires will strongly complement the skillsets of Australian Ethical’s existing investment committee, bringing the committee’s total to seven. They follow the recent hire of Angus Dennis as investment director leading the institutional channel strategy after joining from Vanguard Australia.

The move also supports Australian Ethical’s ongoing investment in the adviser channel to meet increasing consumer demand for values-based investing, after adviser-related flows jumped 135 percent from $61 million in 1H21 to $145 million in 1H22.

This investment includes the launch of an adviser resource hub, extending the adviser team to provide national coverage, and a new online resource to help advisers talk about climate with clients.

It also follows recent RIAA and Australian Ethical research that saw ‘knowledge about responsible investing’ overtake ‘investment returns’ as the number one priority for customers of advisers for the first time since the survey has run.

John McMurdo, CEO & MD of Australian Ethical, said: “Australians are increasingly demanding ethical investment options from their advisers, fund managers, super fund providers, and other investment professionals. It is no longer acceptable for money managers to solely chase solid returns. We must also achieve solid returns through ethical means on top of delivering financial outcomes.

“For this reason we have built on our 35 years’ experience as Australia’s pioneering ethical investor, by further shoring up the ethical pedigree of our Investment Committee and adviser offering. We hope to help more advisers take full advantage of the surge of interest in responsible and ethical investing that is accelerating flows of our funds.”

Sandra McCullagh said: “I am delighted to join the Investment Committee of Australian Ethical, whose leading work in responsible investment I have respected and admired since my time at Credit Suisse. It is pleasing to see the continual growth in responsible investing.”

Sean Henaghan said: “I am excited to be joining Australia’s leading ethical manager to assist them in their ambition of becoming a substantial multi-asset investor.”  

Steve Rankin said: “Over the last several years I have watched and been encouraged by the growth in ESG in the companies I am involved with, and am very excited to expand those horizons with Australian Ethical who are leading the way.”

Australian Ethical (www.australianethical.com.au) is Australia’s original responsible investment and fastest-growing super fund manager, with a 35-year track record, over $6.94 billion in Funds Under Management (FUM), and above-market returns in its premium products.

Australian Ethical offers 9 managed funds and 13 investment options in its superannuation fund. These are managed by an in-house team of investment professionals consisting of sector specialists with an average of over 16 years of experience, and an internal ethics team with a separate reporting line. Every decision made by both teams is guided by the Australian Ethical Charter and its responsible investment philosophy. The investment team combines the most comprehensive ethical assessment process in the market with fundamental bottom-up stock analysis that goes far deeper than generic ESG investing.

Australian Ethical is rated as one of the top-performing super funds and investment managers by Super Ratings, Chant West, Morningstar, Money Magazine, Rainmaker, Forbes, and Financial Standard.