New Zealand Superannuation Fund Head Adrian Orr Shifts into High Gear

October 03, 2013 by Loch Adamson

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New Zealand Superannuation Fund CEO Adrian Orr AS A FUND MANAGER, Adrian Orr doesn’t have much use for the status quo. In February 2007 the energetic, outspoken economist took over as CEO of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the investment group that manages the country’s NZ$23 billion ($18.9 billion) sovereign wealth fund. His remit: Transform the fund from a traditional asset allocator into an agile and opportunistic investor. Orr had been on the job only a few months when the subprime mortgage crisis erupted. Far from giving him pause, though, the crisis spurred him to accelerate the strategic shift. Adopting a total-portfolio investment approach, the CEO and his team created a passive reference portfolio to serve as an internal benchmark. They seek to beat that benchmark by finding investments with superior risk-adjusted returns, using tactics such as strategic tilting:adjusting exposure to asset classes that are over- or undervalued…

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