The Guardians employs around 130 staff, many of whom are New Zealanders who have returned from overseas. We place a high priority on attracting the best candidates, retaining our top talent and building the capability of our team. We aim to be a good employer and are committed to offering equal employment opportunities to prospective and existing staff. Workplace flexibility, investing in professional development and offering staff career-progressing opportunities are central to our employment offering.

If you are eligible to work in New Zealand and are interested in a career opportunity with the Guardians, please see below for details of roles we are currently recruiting for. Please note that all recruitment is undertaken via specialist search.



Role Description

The Chief Investment Officer (CIO) leads the Investments group through five senior managers (Investment Heads), whose activities collectively shape the risk and return profile of the Fund. Reporting to the Chief Executive and forming part of both the executive leadership team and investment committee, the CIO is a high profile leadership position within the NZSF that plays a pivotal role in fund performance, team development and engagement with other leading global investors. A key task for the incoming CIO is to preserve the design and effectiveness of the investment framework while driving better integration across the Investment Heads and their teams, and incorporating new ideas. This reflects the need to sustain discipline as an investor but extend rigour to analysing competing risk and opportunity sets, making calls on allocation decisions and better integrating data into process. The CIO works closely with the portfolio completion team to execute investment strategy and manage risk, as well as managing the responsible investments team to ensure that all activity is filtered by the standards of conduct and regulations by which the NZSF abides.

Much of the external presence of the Fund is fronted by the CIO, who will establish and maintain strong networks with peer funds and facilitate information sharing across them. This extends to representation among industry bodies, presentations at various conferences and participating in global dialogue about best-practice investment.

Key Responsibilities

The CIO is responsible for leading a large team conducting the activities of the Investments group. A key focus area is culture, which has evolved within the organisation substantially over time and requires a top-down effort to foster co-operation and remove silos that inhibit the ability of the structure to grow. This reflects a need to build scalability into the Fund and develop capability so that the calibre of talent within the organisation is sustained. To ensure that existing talent is retained, the CIO will be responsible for creating an environment of contestability, where ideas are contributed without marginalising the expertise of others and the principles of responsible investment are upheld. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Approve investment decisions within delegated authorities, of up to 1% of the Fund’s capital
  • Work with the portfolio completion team to manage and approve Active Risk Budgets
  • Operate on a ‘no surprises’ basis in dealings with the Board, CEO and leadership team
  • Ensure compliance with all NZSF policies and procedures
  • Support other management activities as required and champion the vision and values of the NZSF at all times

Skills & Attributes

The CIO must be intellectually curious with the dexterity to grasp numerous complex and time- sensitive issues concurrently. While a high level of literacy in the financial markets is important, leadership skills are core to the success of this role in managing the broader investments team and improving culture. As an executive of the organisation, the CIO should also be able to provide a broad contribution to the senior leadership team beyond the scope of the role. This extends to activities in the media, which the CIO will be expected to front along with the Chief Executive.

The personal attributes necessary for success in the role include:

  • A long-term mindset and appreciation for the overarching purpose of the NZSF
  • Humility, particularly in being able to admit mistakes and own performance up or down
  • Patience to arrest deal-fever in the recognition that to take no action can be a better choice
  • Balance this with a continued focus on growth, pace and risk appetite
  • Being decisive and accountable for investment outcomes
  • Ability to deal with public scrutiny and the disclosure requirements of a government entity
  • High level of trust in others with commensurate ability to delegate
  • Strong communicator of decisions and the processes by which they are made
  • A genuine leadership orientation that underpins care for the development of employees

Career Trajectory

Though fundamentally a leadership role, the CIO requires a threshold level of understanding in investment management to be credible internally and in the marketplace. This could arise from past experience in asset and portfolio management or investment consulting. Currency of this knowledge is less important than the experience itself and the mental capacity to learn broadly and quickly. Separately, past leadership roles are important in continually working to grow the capability of the Investments team, build succession and promote contribution at a strategic level beyond the scope of individual roles. Past experience facing Boards is necessary.

For more information on the role, including instructions on how to apply, please see full assignment specification.