Hostplus's Sicilia wins CIO of the year

Hostplus chief investment officer Sam Sicilia

03-Dec-2014

By Wouter Klijn

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Hostplus's Sam Sicilia last night won the chief investment officer of the year award at the La Trobe Financial/Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) 2014 National Achievement Awards in Melbourne.

The prize for this year’s award winners was $10,000 to put towards an educational program of the winner’s choice.

“Receiving peer recognition represents much more than is warranted by my individual contribution to this industry,” Sicilia said.

“What is really recognised tonight is the efforts of many talented people alongside I have been privileged to work.

“Now, I don't want to single out any individuals out of fear of leaving out anyone, but you know who you are: assistants who have supported me, analysts that have made me look good, colleagues that have guided me, employers that have provided me with the opportunity and, of course, family that has tolerated absences from home. I would like to share this award with all of you.”

FEAL chief executive Joanna Davison said the nominees were judged on their ability to manage costs, leadership, their response to regulatory change, their understanding of the investment needs of members and helping them understand those needs, and their asset allocation decisions.

The award was open to CIOs of fiduciary funds or senior investment staff who occupied a similarly titled role, and who reported directly to a chief executive or an investment committee of a fund.

StatewideSuper's Nicolle Rantanen won the title of chief operating officer of the year.

Part of her recognition was due to her efforts in ensuring the success of the merger between Local Super and StatewideSuper and the integration of the two funds in the period after the merger.

“We are in a dynamic industry and educational sponsorships are tremendously important in ensuring that we are well equiped with the sector's future challenges,” Rantanen said.

“I would like to thank my team for their long-standing support. Finally, I would like to thank StatewideSuper chief executive John O'Flaherty for continuing to encourage and challenge me and for providing me with the opportunity to make our members' retirement plans a reality.”

Last year, the CIO of the year award was won by Commonwealth Bank Group Super chief investment officer Gerard Parlevliet, while the COO award went to First State Super chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Graeme Arnott.

Parlevliet used his eductional scholarship to attend a course at Stanford University about leading teams for innovation.

“It was more about implementing change in an organisation and learning about team formation and to address the potential of loss of information in corporate processes,” he said.

“I would stimulate anyone to do such a course to develop themselves; not just those who win awards.”

The judging panel included La Trobe Financial deputy chairman Greg Bright, La Trobe chief executive Greg O’Neill, FEAL chairman Neil Cochrane, PwC national superannuation leader David Coogan, SuperRatings chairman Jeff Bresnahan and Rainmaker managing director Christopher Page.

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