ASB chairman Walker to lead NZ Super Fund board

BUSINESSDESK: ASB chairman Gavin Walker has been appointed the next chairman of Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, which governs the country's $19.15 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

Mr Walker joined the board in 2010 and also holds the chair of ASB subsidiary Sovereign Insurance, and is a director of Lion. He replaces inaugural chairman David May, who has served on the board for a decade. 

"We are fortunate to have someone of Mr Walker's calibre and experience to take over the leadership of the Guardians," Finance Minister Bill English says. "I want to thank Mr May for his decade of service at the helm of the Guardians' board."

The Cullen fund, so-called for its architect former Finance Minister Sir Michael Cullen, was established to help pre-pay the escalating pension bill for the baby boomer generation.

As at July 31, it had made an absolute return of 7.16% since its inception in September 2003. That is 1.95% in excess of Treasury bills, which it aims to beat by 2.5% over its lifetime.

Fellow director Catherine Savage was appointed deputy chairwoman.