Papua New Guinea’s CIO Moves to Australian Catholic Super

Michael Block, CIO of Nambawan Super, will replace Catholic Super’s outgoing CIO Anne Whittaker on December 8.

Michael Block(Michael Block, CIO of Nambawan Super)The Australian Catholic Superannuation has tapped Michael Block, current CIO of Papua New Guinea’s largest pension fund, as its new CIO. 

Block will be replacing Anne Whittaker at Catholic Super who will be retiring from the fund on December 19.

Catholic Super’s CEO Greg Cantor said Block had been chosen following an “extensive recruitment process.”

“We feel very confident he has the necessary skills and experience to meet the fund’s investment objectives,” he said in a statement.

Block, an Australian, is no stranger to his home country’s fund management.

Prior to his nearly 2-year tenure at the US$2.5 billion Nambawan Super in Papua New Guinea, he served as CIO at several superannuation funds in Sydney including Future Plus and WorkCover. He also spent eight years as director of his alma mater’s endowment, the University of South Wales in Sydney.

Block has a total of seven degrees and diplomas in finance, philosophy, and law.

In a previous interview with CIO, Block said he was brought into the inaugural position at Nambawan Super on a three-year contract as the pension moved against the concept of the outsourced-CIO.

“The portfolio doesn’t look like anything like the portfolios that I am used to,” he said in January. “Absolutely none of the typical rules apply in Papua New Guinea, from asset allocation to tracking error and manager selection.”

Block will begin his new position at Catholic Super on December 8.

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