Former Victorian Premier and Beyond Blue founder Jeff Kennett will take over as chairman of Equity Trustees from the group’s October annual general meeting, following the retirement of incumbent Tony Killen.
Mr Kennett has been on Equity Trustees’ board for nine years, and has served as a member of the Remuneration, Human Resources and Nomination Committee.
He stood down as chair of Beyond Blue, the national depression, anxiety and suicide initiative he formed, in July and was replaced by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Equity Trustees is one of the country’s oldest investment groups, dating back to 1888. It provides trustee and investment services across a range of philanthropic and for-profit investment areas as well as employer superannuation services.
The appointment will be subject to Mr Kennett’s re-election to the board by shareholders at the October AGM.
Current chairman Tony Killen said, “Jeff is a highly accomplished business and community leader, with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors and a track record of outstanding success.
“In his time on the EQT Board Jeff has developed a deep knowledge of the business as well as demonstrating great vision and passion for our clients and philanthropic endeavours,” Mr Killen said. “Jeff is strongly positioned to assume the chairmanship of EQT and help drive the company’s next stage of growth.”
Mr Kennett said, “It is an honour to be invited to chair a company with such a proud history and promising future. “EQT is a special corporation that fulfils an important role in Australia, being trusted with the independent care and administration of people’s wealth, often when they are most vulnerable.”
“The outlook for EQT is excellent, with increasing demand for our services driven by changing demographics in the community, higher levels of wealth and increasing philanthropic attitudes, and opportunities from increasingly global markets,” Mr Kennett said.
“The wealth in Australia is also growing, with EQT well placed to provide services to groups ranging from indigenous communities to Australia’s leading charitable and not-for-profit organisations.”
Mr Kennett said Mr Killen had helped steer EQT through significant transformation during his ten years as chairman. “Tony has been instrumental in re-shaping EQT and positioning it to thrive in its markets,” he said.
“He has overseen major acquisitions including the ANZ Trustees and Sandhurst estates and trusts business and established a strong and stable leadership team.”
Mr Kennett is a director of Seven West Media and chairman of The Torch, a program helping indigenous men and women while incarcerated and post their release.
He was also president of the Hawthorn Football Club between 2005 and 2011.