Australia’s National Reconstruction Fund Appoints its First CIO

Mary Manning will lead the investment strategy of the fund, starting in July. 

The National Reconstruction Fund Corp., an A$15 billion ($10 billion) fund that invests across strategic industries in Australia has appointed Mary Manning as the fund’s inaugural CIO, effective in July.  

Manning will oversee the fund’s investment strategy and portfolio management, which aims to invest and grow domestic industrial capabilities to secure the country’s position in key sectors while achieving a 2-3% return above the five-year government bond rate over the medium-long term.  

Legislation to establish the NRFC was first proposed in 2022 by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as a fund that would invest in strategic sectors of Australia’s economy. The fund was established in September 2023 and began building its board and executive team shortly after. 

The NRFC invests across seven strategic industries in Australia: resources, transportation, medical science, defense, renewables and low-emission energy, agriculture and forestry, and advanced manufacturing and materials technologies.  

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The fund, according to its investment mandate, aims to allocate up to A$3 billion to renewables, A$1.5 billion to medical manufacturing, A$1 billion to adding value in resources, A$1 billion to technologies critical to the national interest, A$1 billion to advanced manufacturing, and A$500 million to agriculture, food and forestry investments.  

“I am excited to join the team at the NRFC and take charge of its pipeline of compelling investment opportunities. We have a clear mission to supercharge our seven priority areas, while delivering the targeted return on investment. By investing at scale and with impact, we will help build the foundation of Australia’s economic future,” Manning said in a press release. 

Manning is currently a portfolio manager at Sydney-based Alphinity Investment Management and was previously a portfolio manager at Ellerston Capital. She has held senior investment positions at Oaktree Capital and Soros Fund Management.  

Manning holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in finance from the University of Calgary, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Ph.D. in economics and economic development from the University of Sydney. 

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