State Super appoints academic body to look after tech developments

Executive Move


State Super has created an Academic Oversight Body (AOB) to help the organisation manage its development of tools to use AI and machine learning.

"The challenges faced by our funds, of minimising downside risk while pursuing strong returns, in a liquitidy constrained manner, are well known," said State Super CEO John Livanas. "Charles [Wu, Deputy CIO] and his team have developed machine learning algorithms that have been helping us to effectively assess financial conditions and assist our decision-making processes.

"This has led State Super to maintain superior returns, with significantly lowered risk. The Academic Oversight Body will assist State Super’s governance of our machine learning models and grow our investment data science capabilities, at a time when the speed of change in markets, and development of machine learning and artificial intelligence research increases."

Three people have been named as inaugural members of the AOB: Michael Kollo, David Michayluk, and Alex Antic.

Kollo has been appointed chair of the internal body. "The increasing scale and sophistication of capital markets drives asset owners toward using more types of data and new technologies, including AI, to help in their decision making," he said. "Having an appropriate governance framework and technical resources to oversee and guide their development not only helps members get a better outcome, it is a way for State Super to tap into the best Australian academic talent."

Kollo, who holds a PhD in finance from the London School of Economics, has previous experience in superannuation and investing. He was deputy head of research with AXA IM in London and a quantitative portfolio manager and research analyst with Fidelity International.

Recently, Kollo spent a year as GM of quantitative solutions and risk with HESTA.

"State Super understands the potential value that the data science program will bring, and a robust governance framework has been developed to ensure the insights are carefully integrated with our investment process and governance framework," said deputy CIO Charlies Wu.


October 2020

Chair, Academic Oversight Body

State Super