Appointment of Future Fund Guardians

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March 29, 2006
GST, Intergovernmental Agreement, Qantas, COAG reforms, building approvals – Doorstop Interview, Parliament House, Canberra
March 31, 2006

Appointment of Future Fund Guardians



The Government today announced the appointment of six members of the Future Fund Board of Guardians. This is a substantial further step in the establishment of the Future Fund, following the passage of the enabling legislation in late February.

The creation of the Future Fund is an important part of the Coalition Government’s policies to strengthen the financial position of the Australian Government and prepare for the ageing of the population.

The Government is pleased to announce today its decision to appoint Mr Jeffrey Browne, Ms Susan Doyle, Mr Robert Elstone, Dr John Mulcahy, Mr Trevor Rowe AM and Mr Brian Watson to join the Future Fund Board of Guardians. The Government previously announced its decision to appoint Mr David Murray as Chair of the Board on 6 November 2005.

In coming weeks, the Government will consult with the Board on the Future Fund’s proposed investment mandate.

While the Board will be subject only to minimal restrictions in investing the Fund, the Government has already confirmed that:

  • the Board will be required to seek a long-term benchmark for real returns of between 4.5% and 5.5% though the Government accepts that market conditions may mean this return is not achieved in all years;
  • the Fund will not be able to take a controlling stake in companies where a controlling stake is defined by reference to the takeover provisions of the Corporations Act;
  • the Fund will not be permitted to borrow money except for short-term settlement of transactions;
  • the Fund will be prohibited from using derivatives for leverage or speculation;
  • the Board will be restricted to investing in financial assets, thus precluding direct investment in infrastructure projects or property. However, the Board will be able to gain exposure to these asset classes through pooled investment vehicles;
  • the Fund’s annual earnings will be reinvested and that money cannot be drawn from the Fund until the unfunded superannuation liability has been matched, or until the year 2020.

Mr Browne, Dr Mulcahy and Mr Rowe will be appointed for a period of five years while Ms Doyle, Mr Elstone and Mr Watson will be appointed for a period of three years.

The Board members have been selected by the Government for their expertise in investment management and corporate governance. The appointees are all professionals of significant standing in their fields of expertise and bring substantial experience to the Board. (Brief biographical notes follow.)

All appointments to the Board (including the Chair) are on a part-time basis and the Board’s remuneration will be determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The first meeting of the Board will take place in coming weeks.

Biographical notes of board members

Mr Jeffrey Browne was a Partner (New York) and Managing Partner of Australian Offices (Melbourne and Sydney) in the legal firm Sullivan & Cromwell until recently and has extensive experience in capital market transactions. Mr Browne has also acted for the Commonwealth and State Governments, mainly in relation to international bond offerings and privatisations.

Ms Susan Doyle is Chair of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme and the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme Boards and has many years experience in the area of superannuation and investments. Ms Doyle worked for Commonwealth Funds Management for 20 years and was more recently Manager of Equities and Fixed Interest Suncorp Insurance and Finance and Chief General Manager of NRMA Asset Management Pty Ltd.

Mr Robert Elstone is the Managing Director of SFE Corporation, the holding company for the Sydney Futures Exchange and related entities and a Director of the National Australia Bank. Mr Elstone has extensive experience in the corporate world and particular experience in the derivative markets. Prior to 2000, Mr Elstone held senior management positions with Pioneer International Ltd, Air New Zealand, Elders IXL and Paribas Group Australia.

Dr John Mulcahy is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Suncorp. Dr Mulcahy has broad corporate experience and expertise in retail financial services having held a number of senior roles in the Commonwealth Bank including Group Executive, Investment and Insurance Services and previously the positions of Chief Executive of Lend Lease Property Investment Services and Chief Executive of Civil and Civic.

Mr Trevor Rowe is Chair of Investment Banking, N M Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Limited and has been the Chair of QIC since 2001. Mr Rowe is also Chancellor of Bond University (since 2003) and a Director of the Australian Stock Exchange Limited. He has substantial experience and expertise in financial management, investments and corporate governance.

Mr Brian Watson is Executive Chairman of Georgica Associates Pty Limited, an independent private equity investment management firm. Mr Watson has expertise in private equity investment activities and the provision of corporate advisory services related to the private equity sector. Mr Watson is also Chairman of the Australian Government’s Pooled Development Funds Registration Board and was Chairman of the Government’s Venture Capital Industry Review, which was conducted in 2005.


30 March 2006



David Alexander Treasurer’s office 02 6277 7340
Matthew Doman Finance Minister’s Office 02 6277 7400