Chief Investment Officer Damian Graham talks about some of the things First State Super is doing to help Australia recover from the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a super fund, we believe we have a key role to play in helping to stimulate the economy while supporting the broader community as Australia begins to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
What we’re doing at First State Super will help to support many sectors of the economy – helping to fund major infrastructure projects, investing in jobs growth initiatives and supporting small to medium-sized businesses to take the next step on their growth journey. Our focus is investing in projects and businesses that contribute to a better future for all Australians.
We expect that markets will remain volatile for some time, and this will provide us even more opportunities to invest directly and generate great long-term returns for our members.
Key summary points
- How we’re supporting tenants and key workers in difficult times
We’re a large investor in property, and we know that times have been tough for our commercial and residential tenants. We’re helping some of our tenants by working with them one-on-one to support them through the current challenging environment.
At the same time, we’re committed to supporting investments in key worker affordable housing and have committed to $200 million in affordable housing across Victoria and New South Wales. In addition to generating a good investment return for our members, we’re helping to solve the housing affordability crisis, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Australia.
- Impact investing to support new jobs
An area that’s critically important to the Australian economy is employment. Through some of our impact investments such as the Victorian Business Growth Fund, in partnership with the Victorian Government, we’re working to provide growth capital to successful small- to medium-sized businesses. This fund will help them take the next step in their growth and development, and really help to drive jobs growth in Victoria.
- Investing in businesses that benefit our community
With our size and scale, we’re able to make direct investments that make a real contribution to our community such as the Sydney Light Rail, NSW and Victorian Land Registry Services, and hospitals like the Sunshine Coast University and Bendigo hospitals. As our economy recovers, we’ll be looking for further opportunities to provide great returns to our members while supporting our community.
- Helping local businesses through direct lending for future growth
We’ve been active in direct lending to local businesses to help them fund their future growth. We’ve lent more than $1 billion to businesses in industries such as grocery, childcare, packaging and data centre solutions. This has helped to support economic growth by providing capital to successful, growing companies while driving strong outcomes for our fund.