ACSI announces new president, deputy

Debby Blakey has been appointed the new president of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).

The HESTA CEO replaces Ian Silk, the outgoing chief executive of AustralianSuper.

Michelle Gardiner, trustee director of Care Super, will take on the role of deputy president, replacing outgoing deputy president Antony Thow, who is also deputy CEO of LUCRF. Both women will step into their new roles effective August.

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson thanked Silk and Thow for their contributions over the past four years and their dedication to the work of ACSI.

"Ian's leadership has been instrumental in elevating the focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and good governance. I thank him for his guidance and support of ACSI and his huge contribution to the superannuation sector more broadly," Davidson said.

"We are delighted to have Debby Blakey and Michelle Gardiner take on these important roles for ACSI. Both have demonstrated a strong commitment to our work in seeking to improve the ESG performance of listed companies."

Blakey said she was excited to take on the role as ACSI President, given ACSI's work in promoting ESG issues and the positive impact this has on long-term investment value.

"Managing ESG issues helps protect the retirement savings of superfund members into the future," Blakey said. "Investors and companies must work together to tackle significant long-term investment risks, including climate change, corporate governance, and gender diversity."

Silk also congratulated Blakey and Gardiner.

"Debby and Michelle are strong advocates of the importance of focusing on ESG issues," Silk said. "They will be excellent in their roles, working with the ACSI team on delivering outcomes in the best financial interests of millions of superfund members."

As reported in partner publication Financial Standard, Silk, the chief executive of Australia's biggest superannuation fund, will step down before the end of the year.

Having led the fund since its creation on 1 July 2006, Ian Silk is set to leave the super fund at the end of this year. Chief risk officer Paul Schroder will take over the top job, the fund announced.

Read more: Debby BlakeyAustralian Council of Superannuation InvestorsIan SilkMichelle GardinerAustralianSuperAntony ThowCare SuperHESTALouise Davidson