A history of looking to the long term

Learn about our distinct ownership
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Our heritage is built by the collective action of everyday people …

The IFM Investors story began with the Australian trade union campaign for compulsory pensions in the 1980s. Our inaugural Chair, Garry Weaven, was instrumental in the campaign on behalf of working people and helped to set up some of Australia’s very first pension funds.

Inspired by this collective action – and the positive impact it could have – Australian pension funds sought to create an institutional investment manager of scale with the same collaborative spirit. Thus, they created a manager who could bring together global talent, and was capable of delivering strong investment returns, while also being a leader in the stewardship of retirement capital. 

Garry was the founding Executive Chair of Industry Fund Services (IFS) and inaugural Chair of IFM Investors, until his retirement in 2018. In 2019, The Hon. Greg Combet became Chair of IFM Investors, and he continued to strongly advocate for the rights of working people to enjoy their retirement in a future that can sustain us all. Prior to joining the board of IFM Investors, Greg served in the Australian Government in a number of Cabinet and Ministerial roles, including Minister for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and Minister for Defence Personnel, Science and Materiel. And before his career in politics, Greg was the leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Greg resigned as Chair in 2023 following his appointment by the Prime Minister of Australia as full-time Chair of the Net Zero Economy Agency.

Ms Cath Bowtell, who joined the IFM Investors Board in 2019, is our current Chair. She joined the IFM Investors Board in 2019, and was its Deputy Chair from February 2022 to 1 July 2023. Cath has tremendous experience across the pension sector and a lifelong commitment to working people.

In 2019, with the support of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), IFM Investors launched the Garry Weaven Emerging Trustee Scholarship Program. The program aims to develop new generations of incoming leaders for the profit-to-member superannuation sector.

How it all began...


The origin

IFM Investors had its origins in the Australian union movement. Inspired by the collective action of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and its efforts to protect and grow the retirement savings of working people, the concept of an investment vehicle owned by investors, investing on behalf of investors, was realised. The Development Australia Fund Nominees Ltd (DAF) was established as a trustee.


Pension funds come together

Australian pension funds come together to invest in nation-building infrastructure, private equity and listed equities. Industry Fund Services (IFS) is appointed the manager for DAF. Later – in 2004 – a department of IFS (IFS Private Capital Group) and DAF would be brought together to form IFM Investors.


IFS launches investment strategies

Industry Fund Services launches investment strategies in infrastructure and private equity – helping to pioneer investment in alternatives and private markets in Australia.


New Australian listed equities capability launched

Our capability to offer investments for aligned institutional investors into Australian listed equities launches.


New debt investments capability launched

Our capability to offer investments for aligned institutional investors into specialized credit and debt investments launches.


IFM Investors is created and goes global

Industry Funds Management (IFM) – which would later be renamed IFM Investors – is created, bringing together the functions and resources of both the IFS Private Capital Group and DAF, centralising the investment management and administrative services of the funds for which DAF was the trustee. At the same time, IFM launches a new capability for aligned institutional investors in global infrastructure.


IFM Investors expands its global reach

Expanding its offering to aligned institutional investors around the world, IFM Investors opens its first international office in London.


IFM Investors expands to North America

Quickly following its success in opening the London office, IFM Investors opens a new office in New York.


IFM Investors signs UN PRI* and launches global infrastructure capability in North America, UK and Europe

IFM Investors becomes a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment.* Around the same time, our global infrastructure capability is made available to aligned institutional investors in the US, UK and Europe.


IFM Investors continues to globalize its operations

From 2011, IFM Investors continues to open regional offices across the globe as interest from aligned institutional investors in its offering increases. Offices open in Sydney (2011), Berlin (2013), Tokyo (2014), Hong Kong (2016), Seoul (2017) and Zurich (2018).


IFM Investors targets net-zero emissions

IFM Investors commits to targeting net-zero emissions across its assets by 2050 and announces its ambition to become a net-zero emissions organisation.


Amsterdam office opens

Complementing its existing offices in London and Zurich, IFM Investors continues to increase its presence in Europe by opening an office in Amsterdam.


New capability targeting Net Zero infrastructure launches

As investment opportunities emerge in a world increasingly focused on decarbonizing its economy, IFM Investors launches a global net zero infrastructure capability.

* The Principles for Responsible Investment is a United Nations-supported international network of asset managers, asset owners and service providers working together to promote and implement six aspirational ESG principles. The PRI’s annual assessment process scores and benchmarks signatories’ responsible investment governance and processes against its principles and other signatories.