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Ex-cabinet minister appointed as super fund guardian


Monday 26th August 2002

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Former National party Cabinet minister Sir Douglas Graham is one of six guardians appointed to oversee the Government's Superannuation Fund.

The fund, which currently holds about $805 million, is the Government's plan to fund future superannuation needs through investment.

Appointees will be responsible for deciding where the money is invested and in what forms, such as bonds and shares.

Chairman of the fund is David May, deputy chair of the Government Superannuation Fund Authority and a former managing director of the Colonial Group investment company. His five-year term ends in May 2007.

Sir Douglas will be deputy chairman and serve a similar term. He currently chairs the Lombard Group, a private banking firm which manages assets worth around $100 million.

The other appointees, with varying terms, are:

* Dr Michaela Anderson, director of policy and research for the Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia;

* Ira Bing, private investor with a banking background in Britain and with Merill Lynch in Europe;

* Brian Gaynor, an independent investment analyst and director of the New Zealand Investment Trust Plc; and

* Bridget Wickham, chief executive of University of Auckland Developments and a director of the Knowledgewave Trust.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said in a statement that a seventh appointment would be made at a later stage. The law allows for five to seven guardians.

"The Guardians are responsible for setting the investment policies of the Fund and for appointing the funds managers so it is important that we get the right mix of experience and skills. I am confident we have done that," he said.

All the appointments have been cleared by other political parties but were deferred until after the election.

Annual fees are $34,000 for the chairman, $21,250 for the deputy and $17,000 for the others.

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