“Robbo departs super … not with a whimper, but a bang”

This is the heading from Investor Strategy on Monday breaking the news to the finance and superannuation industry that I had announced my resignation as a director on the LGS Board after 16 years. Over that time LGS has become Australia’s foremost sustainable superannuation fund, the winner of many accolades for responsible investment and the top ranked international fund in the Asset Owners Disclosure Project in 2010 for its responsible management of carbon risk and alternative investment.

16 years is quite enough and the Committee of Management is more than happy to see me back working full-time on union business. More time for Fairfield, and others.

As one of the three union shareholders, depa is able to nominate a director and the Committee of Management resolved to appoint Joanne Davison, a highly respected finance professional with an interest in doing more about sustainable and responsible investment, as my successor. Joanne will continue to advocate strongly for member interests on the Board and LGS’ sustainable values and initiatives.

Self-effacing as I am, I won’t browbeat you about the achievements over that period of time but I am proud to have written the report to the Board in 2000 that meant LGS was the first superannuation fund in Australia to resolve never to own tobacco shares. When asked why LGS had done it, the Chief Investment Officer of the time responded that it had been done “to appease a zealot on the Board.” Happy to be a zealot to make changes for the better.

That’s ancient history now but from it developed a broader approach to responsible investment and innumerable awards and acknowledgement, including:

  • SuperRatings Infinity Awards 2010 and 2011
  • Money Magazine Best Green Super Fund 2011 and 2012
  • NSW Government Green Globe Awards 2011 and in 2012 the Energy Award and Climate Change Leadership Award
  • Sustainable Super fund of the Year Award 2010 - Ethical Investor
  • Asset Owners Disclosure Project 2009 and 2010 ranked number one in Australia
  • Asset Owners Disclosure Project 2012 ranked Number 1 in the world of 300 pension/superannuation funds
  • Numerous property awards including a Property Council of Australia Award 2012 for the best sustainable development of an existing building in Sydney's Sussex Street
  • 40% reduction in energy use since 2009 across the entire property portfolio, a property in North Sydney is operating with Trigeneration and Leichardt's Market Place has reduced its energy by 50% since 2009

The full article from Investor Strategy News and the unedited announcement is here. While the news has been broadcast in other publications, no-one else was willing to publish the unedited version.

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