AustralianSuper Gets a New Independent Director

Dr. Don Russell, former chair of rival fund, served ex-Prime Minister Keating.

AustralianSuper’s board has a new member: Dr. Don Russell, the previous chair of a rival retirement consortium and a one-time government advisor.

Russell, a former chair of rival fund State Super and key adviser to former Prime Minister Paul Keating, brings a political and investing career to the A$150 billion ($105 billion) fund and its 2.2 million members.

Heather Ridout, the AustralianSuper chair, said the new director “has a deep appreciation of the important role super plays in the lives of working Australians.” She called him “instrumental” in the nation’s establishment in the superannuation industry’s minimum payment guarantee laws.

Russell, who is the second of the board’s two independent directors, worked for Keating at different points in his political career. He was the nation’s Treasurer from 1985 to 1993, and again in 1996, when Keating was PM. Between stints, Russell was Australia’s US ambassador.

He also was the global investment strategist of BNY Mellon’s Australia asset management business and had previously worked for New York-based institution Sanford C. Bernstein.

The rest of AustralianSuper’s now 12-member board is split between five board-nominated members and five employer-nominated teammates.

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