Key sector movements: John McMurdo and Jennifer Westacott

Fri, 1 Dec 2023 Estimated reading times: 2 min minutes

In two notable sector moves, John McMurdo replaces Tim Fairfax AC at Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), and former Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott AO, has joined the Future Generation Global board of directors as an independent director and new chair.

John brings more than three decades of experience in investment management, private client advisory and wealth management across Australia and New Zealand to the APS role.

APS Chairman Chris Cuffe welcomed him and said: “John’s passion for philanthropy and over 35 years’ experience in investment, advisory and wealth management experience will be invaluable for helping to guide the growth of APS. We look forward to having him as part of our board.”

John, who was appointed CEO of Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX: AEF) in 2020 and is actively involved in supporting a wide range of charities privately, via the Australian Ethical Foundation, and APS said: “I have been involved with philanthropy and APS for many years. Structured giving is one of the most effective vehicles for growing philanthropy in Australia and helping direct much needed funds into the community.”

Mr Cuffe thanked Mr Fairfax, who is also a life member of Philanthropy Australia, for his contribution who is retiring from the post, having been an inaugural non-executive director for more than 11 years. He said: “Tim’s high profile and reputation, as well as his commitment to philanthropy, advocacy for making a difference and action in inspiring new generations have been an asset to the APS board since 2012.

“Tim’s contribution to the board has been commendable and instrumental in the growth of APS and I thank him for his long service and generous support during this time.”

APS is an independent, not-for-profit philanthropic services organisation, which helps clients manage their charitable giving using tax-efficient structures. Its 800+ clients donated $162 million to charity last year and have committed more $2 billion to charity held in structures that APS supports.

John joins existing Directors on the APS board: Chris Cuffe AO; David Gonski AC; Belinda Hutchinson AC; Gail Kelly; Dan Phillips; Jan Swinhoe; Michael Traill AM and David Ward.

Jennifer Westacott announced as new Chair of Future Generation Global

In another notable move, Future Generation Global (ASX: FGG) announced this week that former Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott AO, has joined its board of directors as an independent director and new chair. She will take over the role from Acting Chair Geoff Wilson AO, who will remain on the board as a non-independent director.

Mr Wilson founded Future Generation Global in 2015 to offer shareholders investment and social returns and it has since donated more than $38 million to youth mental health.

Ms Westacott said: “I am delighted to become part of helping achieve better mental health outcomes for young Australians. I have long argued Australia’s approach to mental health needs to be more innovative. I believe that Future Generation Global’s goal of delivering both shareholder and social returns can be achieved simultaneously and our strategy of investing in wellbeing and prevention will lead to effective and sustainable long-term outcomes.”

Caroline Gurney, CEO of Future Generation said: “Jennifer believes in what we are doing. Her passion for business and the community, her network, and her unrivalled understanding of how the public and private sectors intersect, will be invaluable as we work to promote wellbeing and prevent mental health conditions in young Australians through investment.”