By Claire Makin
Bruce Tomlinson began developing Sunsuper’s hedge fund programme four years ago when the global financial crisis was gaining strength just over the horizon. His brief was – and still is – to seek out new sources of return for the $18 billion Australian superannuation fund.
Hedge funds are an important diversifier for Sunsuper. Overall, the superfund has a 25% allocation to alternative assets, including 7% to hedge funds, which is a hefty commitment by the standards of most pension funds elsewhere in the world. Sun¬super’s hedge fund weighting is close to double that of its peer group, according to Tomlinson, who is the portfolio manager in charge of hedge funds and Australian equities at Sunsuper.
It is a bet that has worked out well. Sunsuper’s hedge fund investments, which now amount to $1.26 billion, up from less than $200 million in 2007, have been...