RIAA CEO steps down after decade

30 June 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) chief executive, Simon O’Connor, is to step down from the organisation after more than a decade.

O’Connor will transition out of the role and step down at the end of the year. 

RIAA represents over 500 investment organisations across Australia and New Zealand that manage over US$29 trillion in assets under management.

O’Connor’s achievements during his time at the organisation include leading the Responsible Investment Certification Program, which includes over 330 investment products; establishing the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI); chair of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance; and leading a regional consultation group for the Taskforce for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures.

Prior to joining RIAA, he worked as an economic adviser for the Australian Conservation Foundation, a senior economist at consultancy Economists at Large, and a senior responsible investment analyst at MSCI.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of the position that RIAA is in today, and the influence and impact that we as an organisation have on a daily basis to drive a more sustainable future through finance. It’s been a privilege to hold this role and work with our brilliant team, our strong and committed board and our passionate and engaged community of members for the last decade.

“The organisation has taken strong strides forward in recent years. It is in a fantastic position now for me to transition out and move to a new leader who -  together with our strong team, leadership group and board –- can continue to build on the significant momentum and lead RIAA through the next important phase of this organisation’s 23-year journey.”

Ross Piper, chair of the RIAA board, said: “Simon has been a highly effective, influential and catalytic leader in our sector for over a decade. He has shaped and deeply embodied the mission of RIAA with a passion for driving a healthy and sustainable future through finance. 

“The board expresses sincere thanks to Simon for his decade of service to RIAA, and also to the team and network of RIAA members. Simon’s time at RIAA has been highly impactful across the Australian and New Zealand financial services sectors. His leadership leaves a firm legacy and foundation from which we’re excited to now build upon for the next phase of RIAA’s growth,” said Piper.

RIAA said the board will shortly begin a local and international recruitment process to find a replacement for O’Connor.

Click here to read Money Management’s interview with O’Connor at this year’s RIAA annual conference on how the organisation is helping financial advisers. 

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