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Debby Blakey, Chief Executive Officer of HESTA, has been named the winner of the 2018 Fund Executive Association Limited (FEAL) Fund Executive of the Year award.
The annual award, which is sponsored by AMP Capital, recognises a fund executive who has made an outstanding contribution to their employer and the superannuation industry. Last night at a dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Ms Blakey was named this year’s winner, with her strong industry leadership being particularly recognised, as well as innovations made during her leadership of HESTA.
Ms Blakey was appointed CEO of HESTA in March 2015 and has worked for over a decade at the $46bn health and community services sector superannuation scheme. In the past three years, she has led a program of change, setting up HESTA to be adaptable and to thrive in a rapidly changing environment.
Tim Nation, Head of Institutional Business at AMP Capital, commented: “Our winner this year is undoubtedly a role model for excellence in the industry, with a contribution spanning over 15 years. Debby has been both a passionate advocate for diversity and driven innovation within the fund she leads, providing a deeper understanding of members and their pathways to retirement.”
Ms Blakey has championed gender diversity in her role at HESTA, over 80% of whose members are women. HESTA has been named an Employer of Choice by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, with Ms Blakey recognised as a Pay Equity Ambassador. Under her guidance, HESTA has been at the forefront of the call for super to be fairer to women and the lower paid. Ms Blakey has championed the continued development of HESTA’s responsible investment approach, including ESG integration and impact investing. Under her leadership HESTA was one of the first funds to adopt an Australian stewardship code.
Ms Blakey is an influential figure in the superannuation industry as a board member of FEAL and other industry bodies AIST, ASCI and ISA.
Joanna Davison, FEAL Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to recognise Debby as the seventeenth annual fund executive of the year. She is dedicated to delivering positive differences for the financial futures of her scheme’s members, as well as driving positive change in the industry as a whole.
“Alongside successfully leading HESTA, she has valuably contributed to industry discussions and displayed commitment and advocacy across the financial services sector, with her achievements in promoting diversity being particularly commendable.”
Speaking about the long-running award, Tim Nation said: “AMP Capital has partnered with FEAL to sponsor this award for 17 years. We are proud to support the development of our industry’s leaders in order to continue to provide better retirement outcomes for their members. Now more than ever it is crucial that we as an industry recognise and role model excellence.”
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