Andrew and Nicola Forrest have recruited a former banking executive as the inaugural chief executive of their private company Minderoo, while also disclosing its total assets more than doubled last year to $639 million.
Andrew Hagger was most recently chief customer officer for consumer banking and wealth management at National Australia Bank, and resigned after facing stinging criticism at the Hayne Royal Commission.
Mr Hagger’s role will encompass the philanthropic and commercial activities of Minderoo.
The philanthropic activities are through the Minderoo Foundation, which has grown rapidly.
The Forrests donated $402 million to the foundation in the year to June 2018, taking total donations to $847 million.
Its outgoings included $56 million in project and partnerships, up from $16 million in the prior year.
The foundation has also taken on more people, with staff numbers growing to 72 from 44 one year earlier.
Its annual report disclosed total assets of $639 million as at June 30 2018, invested mainly in cash ($221 million) and other financial assets ($410 million).
Mr Hagger will also oversee Minderoo Group’s investment arm, which has a portfolio of agricultural, property and resource investments.
He will join Minderoo effective March 18 2019.
Before NAB, Mr Hagger was managing partner for PwC’s Melbourne office.
His philanthropic roles include chair of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Appeal, founding director of The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, and senior international adviser to Not for Sale.
“Minderoo has been a labour of love for both my wife Nicola and I, and we have built the foundation’s culture carefully over a number of years to combine ethical local businesses with impactful philanthropy.
“Like Fortescue Metals Group, where many years ago I successfully replaced myself with Nev Power, it is now time to significantly deepen Minderoo’s day-to-day leadership in the face of a growing, successful and maturing organisation, and hand over the reins to an incoming group CEO.
“Nicola and I look forward to redoubling our efforts to raise Minderoo to the next level of growth.”
“His experience across a range of sectors – from cancer research, anti-slavery campaigning, to the arts and innovation, and obviously professional services and banking – will help Minderoo navigate the growth ahead with discipline and compassion,” she said.