Graeme Russell steps down as CEO of Media Super

After seven years as the chief executive officer of industry superannuation fund, Media Super, Graeme Russell has stepped down and will act as a strategic adviser to the $6 billion fund until his retirement on July 1, 2020.

Chief operating officer Tony Griffin is the fund’s acting CEO having fulfilled that role while Russell recovered from a recent serious illness.

Media Super acting CEO Tony Griffin

Russell has been attributed to being responsible for Media Super doubling in size and delivering a significant turnaround in investment returns to become a top 10 performer during his tenure.

Previously he was a Trustee Director of Media Super for two years, and its predecessor fund JUST Super for 19 years, with his retirement ending a long association with industry superannuation in the print, media, entertainment and arts sectors.

He was also CEO of First Super prior to taking up the Media Super role.

Media Super chairperson Gerard Noonan paid tribute to Russell’s work as a driving force behind the fund’s reversal of investment performance in recent years and its strong presence among leading industry super funds.

“With Media Super’s small investment team and supported by our Board, Graeme has been instrumental in single-mindedly recommending strategies – and executing them – to push our performance into the winner’s circle,” Noonan said.

“He’s done a terrific job for our members and has been a passionate advocate on Media Super’s involvement in our various industries.

“Graeme is now well into recovery but has decided to ease back on work commitments.”

Russell said that it had been a great privilege to be CEO of what was a special fund.

“We are totally member-focused and woven into the fabric of our industries,” Russell said.

“We’ve delivered very competitive returns, at low fees, while also supporting our members and industries.”

He said that Media Super was proud to support innovation and excellence across its industries, through key industry awards and important scholarships and bursaries.

Media Super was the exclusive partner of ProPrint’s inaugural Emerging 50 award, which runs alongside the long-running Power 50 to recognise the contributions of relative newcomers to the printing industry.

“I think it’s disappointing that government and the regulators don’t understand the important contribution that industry-specific super funds make to their industries, beyond superannuation”, he said.

“We’re about to see that clearly, as funds like Media Super step-up to support members and companies struggling through the current economic dislocation and job losses”.

Russell steps down from the CEO role on 9 April.  He will continue as a Strategic Adviser with Media Super until 1 July.

Chief Operating Officer Tony Griffin, who will step into the CEO role, joined Media Super in early 2019.  He previously worked with industry funds TWU Super and the NSW-based Local Government Super, as well as accounting firm KPMG.

“It will be a smooth transition as Tony and Graeme have worked together closely and will continue to do so until July of this year,” Noonan said.

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