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Australia’s Hostplus hunts for sustainability head

The $40.5bn superannuation fund allocates more than a quarter of its assets to private markets.

Australia’s ninth-biggest superannuation fund, Hostplus, is hiring a new head of sustainability. Its current head of ESG, Kim Farrant, will join Australia’s seventh-biggest superfund, Hesta, as responsible investment general manager later this month.

Hostplus caters for hospitality employees and has assets worth nearly A$54 billion ($40.5 billion; €34.1 billion). It allocates over a quarter of its portfolio to private equity, infrastructure, private debt and real estate. Hesta, which serves healthcare employees, has A$59.3 billion in assets.

Hostplus’s new head of sustainable investments will ensure ESG practices and climate change risks are integrated into the fund’s investment decisions, according to the job advert.

Based in Melbourne, Farrant will join Hesta on 12 July and report to the fund’s head of impact, Mary Delahunty. At Hostplus, Farrant led responsible investment across all asset classes and was responsible for the fund’s ‘socially responsible investment’ option, which allows members to exclude investments in fossil fuels and other non-sustainable industries. Farrant was previously a responsible investment manager at VicSuper, another Australian superannuation fund, and a director at EY.

Hostplus is due to merge with superannuation fund Intrust Super in November 2021. Hostplus and Hesta are both PRI signatories and Hesta is a TCFD supporter. Hesta is an experienced impact investor, having committed A$70 million since 2015 to its social impact investment trust and invested in Leapfrog’s 2017-vintage third impact fund.