Australian Corporate CIO Exits for Asset Manager

Jim Christensen is returning to QIC after five years at the helm of Australia’s largest corporate pension.

Telstra Super CIO Jim Christensen has quit the Australian pension to return to asset management with QIC.

Christensen has left the A$16 billion (US$11.5 billion) fund—the largest corporate superannuation fund in Australia—after five years in charge of its investment team. He will start his new role as managing director for global multi-asset on January 11.

Before joining Telstra, Christensen led the active management division at QIC, which was founded by the government of Queensland, Australia, to run its pension money in 1991.

The appointment is part of a “planned succession process”, QIC said in a statement, which will allow CIO Adriaan Ryder to “primarily focus on strategic level investment advice and relationships with the Queensland government” and other clients.

Damien Frawley, CEO of QIC, said Christensen brought “a unique blend of investment leadership expertise across multiple asset classes, a whole-of-cycle-investment philosophy, and client-first ethos” to the role.

Frawley added that the revised role for Ryder would be beneficial for QIC as it would allow him to concentrate on “key areas” of strategy and client relations.

QIC currently manages assets on behalf of more than 90 institutional clients and is still government-owned.

In May, QIC established a A$1 billion infrastructure partnership with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the pension’s first venture into Asia-Pacific infrastructure.

Related: Future Fund Poaches AP4 Equity Chief & Knowledge Brokers: Fiona Trafford-Walker