The New Zealand Superannuation Fund aims to replace outgoing chief executive Adrian Orr by mid-May and is enlisting the help of a recruiter to find the best candidate.
The fund's manager, Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, issued the request for proposals on January 5 in what's described as a "one-off, urgent service" to replace Orr, who was tapped to head up the Reserve Bank from late March.
"The Guardians' outcome for this service is for the successful respondent to achieve a successful, and lasting, placement of a new chief executive officer as near as is practically possible to the departure date of the current chief executive officer in March 2018," the fund manager said in the RFP published on the government GETS tender website. "The Guardians ideally would like to finalise the appointment of the new CEO by mid-May 2018."
The fund manager wants a "highly experienced executive search agency with a proven success record in local and international executive search to provide this one-off urgent service." Given that urgency the recruiter must have "the capacity to meet the Guardians' time frames," it said.
The recruiter will be selected through an open, competitive tender process and the deadline for proposals is February 1 and it aims to have a contract start date of February 14, it said.
The agency must have the knowledge, expertise and experience to source high calibre candidates with "deep and demonstrable" experience in the financial services sector, locally or internationally, it said.
Among other things, it is looking for respondents that have successfully placed at least two chief executives in institutions with "a similar pre-eminence and public profile as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund". The successful applicant must have "the right networks and calibre of people, with the knowledge, expertise and track record of delivering high-end executive search and placement services," it said.
Respondents are to provide their proposed pricing model as part of the proposal, whether as a fixed price or fee rate.
The new chief executive will oversee the $37.4 billion fund, which has had an annual 10.5 percent average annual rate of return since inception, before New Zealand tax and after all costs, and a workforce of approximately 140 people, including 55 investment professionals. While 86 percent of the fund is invested globally, it has $5 billion invested in New Zealand "making it a major presence in the domestic capital markets," it said.
Orr's total pay package was $1.22 million in the 2017 June year, up from $1.06 million in 2016. The Super Fund's salary became a political football early last year when then-Prime Minister Bill English rebuked the manager's board for lifting the CEO's pay in 2016.