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Our history of innovation and global recognition

We are pioneers in investment innovations. For this, we are recognised as global leaders, including in best-practice governance and innovation.

19 Mar 2021

1996 A pioneer in private equity

CSC was one of the first Australian institutional super funds to invest in private equity. Investing in privately owned businesses can expand the opportunity set of assets available to grow member savings for the long term. Private assets provide an additional layer of returns to compensate for the fact that they cannot be converted to cash immediately. We sought to partner with experienced private equity managers to identify and invest in quality companies with sustainable growth potential, which were not listed on public stock exchanges.

2002 The first investor in hedge funds

CSC was the first Australian super fund to invest in hedge funds. We identified early the need for alternative sources of returns, to reduce the portfolio’s reliance on traditional share and bond markets. The portfolio becomes more diversified and risk of losing money from market downturns are reduced. CSC sought high-quality skilled managers who use different types of trading strategies to add value, e.g. arbitrage, long/short, event driven, global macro, distressed securities, relative value strategies, etc.

2002 The first to incorporate ESG risk

CSC was one of the first funds in Australia to factor in corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) behaviour into our risk assessment. Sustainability means continuously seeking the most productive uses for all our resources. ESG considerations are an intrinsic element of our broad-based risk management and long-term perspective for the ultimate benefit of superannuation fund members.

2003 Won UN Royal Award for ESG innovation

CSC won the United Nations Royal Award for excellence in sustainability, due to our innovative and impactful consideration of ESG factors. This inaugural citation, developed by the UN Environment Program Finance Initiatives (UNEP FI) and the Royal Awards for Sustainability, recognised our identification of the seriousness of long-term thematic risks and poor operational practices.

2006 A first signatory to the United Nations’ PRI

CSC was a founding member of the United Nations’ initiative, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Our leadership has catalysed similar positive change among our stakeholders. By 2019, UN-supported PRI membership has grown to include 2372 organisations accounting for more than $USD86 trillion in global assets under management (AUM)—including 432 asset owners with $20 trillion AUM.

2009 First fund to fully integrate its risk system

We were the first Australian superannuation fund to have a bottom-up risk system integrating financial-, natural- and social-resource risks across the entire portfolio. Since July 2009, it covers both public and private market assets.

Incorporating factor analysis, portfolio attribution and other analytic tools to supplement the primary risk system, it is a continuously evolving mechanism. This dynamic process recognises that decision-making is improved by specialised complementary or contrarian insights.

2009 First fund to measure its carbon footprint

CSC was the first Australian super fund to open its portfolio for carbon footprint assessment by the Climate Change Institute. We measure the carbon footprint of our equities portfolio, disclose it on our website and in annual reports, with an aim to reduce our net portfolio impact over time.

2015 Pioneering portfolio currency management

CSC was amongst the earliest adopters of strategies to hedge significant risks to the portfolio, including using currency, bond, share market securities. This proactively protects our members’ savings from some of the risks associated with rare but high-impact events, such as devaluation during global crises.

2015 Early adopter of Montreal Carbon Pledge

CSC was an early signatory to the Montreal Carbon Pledge, which is supported by the UN’s PRI (see 2006, above). The pledge aims to increase investor awareness, understanding and management of climate change-related impacts, risks and opportunities. Under the pledge, we commit to measuring and disclosing the carbon footprint of our public market equities portfolio, on at least an annual basis.

2015 First dedicated, direct seeding

We were the first Australian super fund to have a dedicated program to directly seed new fund management businesses to access new investment talent at lower cost.

2016 Early investment in the infrastructure of the future

We were the first Australian superannuation fund to recognise that data centres would be a critical form of infrastructure for a technology-driven future. We followed through with a significant pioneering investment in Canberra Data Centres (CDC) to capture an early-mover premium.

CDC was strongly positioned to benefit from the trend we spotted towards centralisation of data storage in efficient, purpose-built centres. We pro-actively sourced this investment from within our high-quality-investment manager network, rather than wait for the marketplace to eventually recognise the value of this strategy.

2017 In world’s ‘Top 25 Most Responsible Asset Allocators’

CSC was the first Australian super fund named in New America’s 2017 Bretton Woods II Leaders List. This recognises the top 25 most responsible asset allocators among sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and Government Pension Plans (GPPs) from around the globe. The initiative provides a benchmark of peer excellence that serves as a catalyst for responsible investing among the broader community.

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2018 Wins ‘Asia Pacific’s leader’ in investment governance

CSC’s governance framework has been recognised as world class, on winning the Investment Governance category in the AsianInvestor Institutional Investment Excellence Awards. The award was made particularly in relation to the framework ensuring transparency and accountability to allow rapid decision-making, having clear and transparent investment objectives and having a full assessment of the probability of success and risks that the portfolio is exposed to.

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2019 Ranked ‘Global Top 20%’ in Responsible Asset Allocators’ Initiative

Our stewardship approach was again recognised by Bretton Woods II, which ranked CSC in the top 20% in Responsible Asset Allocator Initiatives (RAAI) amongst global sovereign wealth funds and government pension funds in 2019.

2019 Wins ‘Asia Pacific’s leader’ in investment innovation

CSC’s approach to innovation was recognised as the Asia Pacific’s best, in the AsianInvestor Institutional Excellence Awards. The Innovation Award was given for CSC’s nimble decision-making to take advantage of the best ‘value for money’ opportunities, as well as our proactive preparation to meet emerging risks.

At CSC, we seek continuous improvement—incremental or transformational—across all aspects of our portfolio to create value for our customers. We do this in a robust and prudent way with the objective to grow our customers’ wealth and safeguard it through the ups and downs of the market.

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2020 SuperRatings Platinum value for money fund for the 15th year in a row

PSSap retained the highest Platinum rating from independent superannuation ratings and research company, SuperRatings, for the 15th year for year to 30 June 2019.

This rating means SuperRatings considers that PSSap’s offering is among the best value for money. We were also finalist in SuperRatings smooth ride award, reflecting consistently strong risk-adjusted returns across both strong and weak markets.


CSC invested US$50 million to refinance a satellite, with next-generation broadband satellite operator, Kacific.

This investment is another example of CSC’s differentiating capacity to be an early mover into new and innovative investment opportunities that address gaps in the market—in this case, technology adoption. It was also an opportunity to robustly support sustainable growth in remote and smaller communities across our region, while aiming to provide financial returns to our members.

The progressive and innovative financing of this important service has been recognised with the IJGlobal Asia Pacific Telecoms deal of the year, awarded to CSC and the other international financiers of this project.

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2020 SUPERRATINGS SR50 capital stable index award

PSSap won SR50 'Best Capital Stable Return' award from independent superannuation ratings and research company, SuperRatings.


We seek to manage all investment risks to ensure the sustainability of your retirement income, including reducing ESG risks from investing in companies that misuse scarce natural resources. To implement this, we’re the first Australian super fund to appoint Osmosis Investment Management as an Investment Manager.

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2020 Wins 'Asia Pacific's leader' ESG engagement

CSC’s approach to ESG engagement was recognised as the Asia Pacific’s best in the AsianInvestor Institutional Excellence Awards.

"CSC’s ongoing efforts to bolster its responsible investing engagement, both via new forms of index and adding new forms of data process, made for noteworthy developments of an already impressive level of devotion to ESG"

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2020 Wins 'Asia Pacific's Leader' Response to Covid

CSC’s COVID response was recognised as the Asia Pacific’s best in the AsianInvestor Institutional Excellence Awards.

“We were impressed by CSC’s early response to the spread of COVID-19 both in terms of investment plans and operational changes, as well as your organisation’s devotion to the safety and support of your personnel during a difficult time”.

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