June 16, 2020 / 4:05 AM / 21 days ago

Pension fund AustralianSuper delays NY office opening due to COVID-19

SYDNEY, June 16 (Reuters) - Australia’s largest pension fund, AustralianSuper, said on Tuesday it has postponed plans to open an office in New York until at least 2021 because of travel restrictions in place to control the spread of the new coronavirus.

The fund, projected to reach A$300 billion ($207.72 billion) in assets in four years, has been expanding its global business, and was due to open an office in New York with up to 30 hires in the next few years.

“Our plans for the New York office have been pushed back a bit partly because it’s hard to get things done so far away,” Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney said in a Bloomberg webinar.

“Our London office will continue to expand although you can’t do much when people aren’t there and people can’t fly,” Delaney said. The company shut all its offices during the pandemic, something Delaney said pushed his team to collaborate via video-conferencing, “flattening” international operations and allowing for more productivity.

The Melbourne-headquartered investment company had planned to open its New York office in the second half of 2020. The office space will now open when virus restrictions allow, Delaney said, adding he expected that to be in the first half of 2021.

$1 = 1.4405 Australian dollars Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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