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Meet the Group Executive Team.

Our Group Executive Team are responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund’s operations and the implementation of the corporate strategy plan to ensure we meet the needs of our members, employers and stakeholders.

Additional Directorships/appointments for each Group Executive are detailed in the Relevant interests and relevant duties register.

The Group Executive Team

Sam joined Hostplus in 2008 as CIO after a storied career in academia and the finance industry that stretches back to the early 1990s. During that time he has held a number of senior roles, both locally and internationally:

  • Director of Investment Consulting with Russell Investments, with responsibility for leadership of the Alternative Assets and Unlisted Property Sector teams, covering private markets, such as infrastructure, private equity and direct property.
  • Senior Manager at Bank of Ireland Asset Management, with responsibility for gathering market intelligence and keeping abreast of industry developments across all asset classes, providing thought leadership and championing and facilitating global product development initiatives.
  • Senior Consultant with Frontier Investment Consulting, a foundation member of Frontier’s management team and Chair of the Frontier Research Practice Meeting: a monthly think tank forum in which investment manager assessments and ratings were determined and investment house views established, reviewed and debated.
  • Senior Asset Consultant with Towers Perrin and a foundation member of the Australian Asset Consulting Services leadership team responsible for the ongoing formulation and review of business strategy. Sam was an architect and the inaugural coordinator of Towers Perrin’s manager research process in Australia, with responsibility for overseeing the manager research function. Sam was also Towers Perrin’s Asia Pacific regional representative, a foundation member of the Global Investment Manager Research Group and Director of Investment Manager Research for Towers Perrin in the US.

Role & Key Responsibilities

  • CIO1 ·
  • To provide strategic leadership across Hostplus Investments
  • To deliver consistent growth in net benefit to members.

Year of appointment

  • 2008

Qualifications and memberships

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Monash University
  • PhD in Mathematical Modelling, Monash University
  • Master of Applied Finance, University of Melbourne.


Sam has more than 20 years' experience in senior executive positions that have included:


  • Director of Investment Consulting at Russell Investments
  • Senior Manager of Bank of Ireland Asset Management
  • Senior Consultant at Frontier Investment Consulting
  • Senior Asset Consultant at Towers Perrin
  • Director of Investment Manager Research at Towers Perrin (US).

1. Effective 31 March 2008

Natalie joined Hostplus in 2010 as Human Resources Consultant and was appointed Group Executive – People, Performance and Culture in 2014. She brings a wealth of employee relations expertise to the area of people and culture in the fund, with over 14 years’ experience in a diverse range of key advisory roles.

Natalie and her team are responsible for driving, implementing and managing the Fund's People, Performance and Culture strategy, which includes recruitment, performance, payroll, culture, learning and development and health, safety and wellbeing.

Natalie is passionate about providing Hostplus employees with the best possible employment experience and supporting leaders to deliver superior performance at the Fund. She has seen success in areas of:

  • Insourcing recruitment
  • Improving employee engagement and alignment
  • Learning and Development.

Role & Key Responsibilities

  • Group Executive – People, Performance and Culture1
  • To drive, implement and manage the People, Performance and Culture strategy for Hostplus.

Key responsibilities

  • To drive, implement and manage the People, Performance and Culture strategy for Hostplus

Year of appointment

  • 2014

Qualifications and memberships

  • Diploma of Human Resources, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Member of AIST
  • Member of FEAL
  • Member of ASFA.


  • Human Resources Consultant at Hostplus
  • Human Resources Recruitment Officer at Tabcorp
  • Resourcing Coordinator at Barclays Bank (London)
  • Recruitment Administrator at Cadbury Schweppes
  • Resourcer at Lloyd Morgan.

1. Effective 19 September 2014

As Group Executive – Member Experience, Paul makes a valued contribution to our leadership team through the development and implementation of Hostplus' strategy, business plans, stakeholder and policy engagement, product development and operational service delivery.

Paul principally provides key executive strategic leadership, development and management of our Member Experience division, and is responsible for the achievement of high-quality experiences and outcomes for Hostplus' members, employers and stakeholders. His portfolio encompasses product, platforms, retirement solutions and financial planning and advice.

Paul leads a talented team dedicated to ensuring that, as one of Australia’s most trusted superannuation brands, Hostplus is at the forefront of delivering market-leading products and services to members, employers and stakeholders. The team works hard to ensure these products and services are, at all times, high performing, compliant and member-focused, to achieve key outcomes in alignment with Hostplus' broader strategy.

As Hostplus’ Group Executive responsible for its business growth, key strategic client relationships and financial planning and advice portfolios, Paul is instrumental in leading Hostplus' efforts to identify and secure new-to-Hostplus business growth opportunities, deliver high-quality account management services to our key employer stakeholders and timely and valued financial guidance and advice to our members.

With extensive experience in superannuation and the financial services industry across a range of business disciplines, Paul has an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of successful organisations. He has held C-suite and senior executive roles in both public and private sectors, including chief executive, executive director and group executive positions in several of Australia’s best known and performing superannuation and pension funds. Prior to that, he enjoyed a 13-year career in the Australian Public Service in which he held a number of senior officer roles in central agencies and contributed to the development and delivery of retirement income policies, initiatives, multi-agency programs and national information and education campaigns.

Paul is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Leadership Development Program and holds formal qualifications in financial planning and management.

Roles  & responsibilities

  • Group Executive – Member Experience
  • To lead Hostplus’ key employer and member relationship management and retention initiatives, activities and programs
  • To lead new business development and growth initiatives, focussed on key strategic accounts through existing distribution channels and identifying and securing new streams of growth and retention opportunities for the Fund through its PST
  • To design and deliver Hostplus' member education program
  • To lead and manage the provision of end-to-end financial planning and advice solutions and services for Hostplus’ various market segments 
  • To contribute to Hostplus’ product strategy and suite, service delivery and business insights
  • To lead the development of retirement-specific solutions and strategy development for post-retirement risk management and mitigation, and provide internal post-retirement subject matter expertise
  • Provide external advice and intermediary engagement and support services (ie. external advisers, accountants, SMSF intermediaries and trustees)
  • To undertake stewardship, development and management of Hostplus’ direct investment (Choiceplus) and SMSF investment (Self-Managed Invest) platforms 
  • In conjunction with other Responsible Managers under Hostplus’ Australian Financial Services Licence, be accountable and responsible for significant day-to-day decisions and oversight of the ongoing provision of Hostplus’ financial products and services
  • To represent Hostplus in relevant retirement policy development and advocacy forums.

Year of appointment

  • 2011

Qualifications and memberships

  • Program for Leadership Development, (Executive Education), Harvard Business School,
  • Diploma of Management (Financial Services), Macquarie University
  • Diploma of Financial Planning, Deakin University
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)
  • Fellow, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)
  • Board Director, Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL)
  • Member, Super System Design Policy Council, ASFA
  • Member, Fund Advisory Panel, ASFA.


  • Hostplus Group Executive – Retirement Solutions and Advice
  • Hostplus Group Executive – Business Growth, Client Relationships, Products and Advice
  • Hostplus Executive Manager, Member and Employer Relationships
  • Chief Executive Officer, Military Super
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Australian Reward Investment Alliance
  • Deputy Executive Director, Motor Trades Association of Australia
  • Senior officer roles in the federal departments of Finance, Defence, Attorney General's, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

Appointed Group Executive – Risk and Compliance in October 2016, Norlena’s extensive experience in both Central Group Operational Risk functions as well as Divisional Operational Risk teams sees her well qualified to manage the intricacies of risk with respect to superannuation.

Norlena joined Hostplus in 2014 following a number of senior roles within the sphere of risk, compliance and governance.

As Group Executive – Risk and Compliance, Norlena is responsible for developing, enhancing and implementing an effective risk management framework, leading the Risk and Compliance team and supporting the Board and leadership team on risk management practices and emerging risks.

Roles & responsibilities

  • Group Executive – Risk and Compliance
  • To lead and oversee the risk team's execution and delivery of the risk business plan
  • To regularly report in a timely fashion to the Board, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, group executive and other stakeholders on risk management practices and emerging risks 
  • To communicate risk management obligations to stakeholders and enhance risk awareness across the organisation on a continuous basis 
  • To develop robust frameworks, processes and systems for the identification, management, mitigation and monitoring of risk across the organisation
  • To identify compliance issues and recommend enhancements to existing – and development of new – risk controls and processes
  • To select and retain, in consultation with the CEO, external counsel as required, to obtain legal opinions or handle claims and litigation.

Year of appointment

  • 2016

Qualifications and memberships

  • Diploma of Financial Services, Integrated Risk Management, Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
  • Member of Risk Management Institute of Australia
  • Member of Governance Risk and Compliance Institute
  • Member of ASFA
  • Member of AIST.


  • Norlena has eight years' experience in senior risk management and advisory positions with a number of organisations, including Cricket Australia, Bankwest and Property Exchange Australia.

With over 29 years of financial services experience, Kelly Cantwell is Group Executive – Administration & Services

A strong negotiator with a member and employer services focus, Kelly is a valuable asset to the Hostplus leadership team.

Appointed in October 2016, Kelly plays a critical role by optimising the administrative capabilities of the fund; One of Kelly’s key functions is to build solid frameworks and infrastructure to manage internal and external stakeholders while driving outcomes to implement the overall strategic plan for the Fund.

Roles & responsibilities

  • Group Executive – Administration & Services
  • Insurance product design, service delivery models and claims management
  • To introduce improved business processes and structures to meet changing business needs
  • To strategically manage, review and design the administrative operating model to ensure effective delivery of services in an efficient manner 
  • To oversee the day-to-day administrative and operational aspects of the Fund and manage information from and between the Fund and key service providers, both internally and externally
  • To ensure administration and other services to the Fund are delivered in the most efficient, user-friendly and cost-effective way to meet member and employer needs and ensure the functional requirements are in line with fund policy, procedures and business objectives.

Year of appointment

  • 2016


  • 11 years’ experience with John Millett Independent Financial Advisors in key roles, including Fund Service Coordinator, Account Manager and Contact Centre Manager
  • 15 years’ experience in previous roles at Hostplus, including a number of years as Group Executive.


Having joined Hostplus in 2013 following several leadership roles across the financial services industry, Lewis was appointed Group Executive in 2018. His extensive superannuation knowledge and leadership experience sees him well equipped to manage the responsibilities of this position.

Lewis contributes significantly to the development and implementation of Hostplus' strategy and business plans and is passionate about improving member outcomes. As Group Executive – Finance and Technology, Lewis is responsible for all commercial, financial and taxation matters, as well as managing the strategy, security and operations of the technology ecosystem.

In addition to his departmental responsibilities, Lewis also acts as the lead executive for the Hostplus Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. As a result, Lewis plays a key role in making sure Hostplus maintains a strong internal control environment that safeguards and protects the interests of members.

Roles & Key Responsibilities

  • Group Executive, Finance and Technology
  • Provide strategic financial leadership to Hostplus
  • Lead and manage the Finance function, including commercial matters, financial accounting, budgets, internal and external audits and taxation obligations
  • Lead and manage the Technology function to facilitate the delivery of technology operations and strategy, including architecture, security and digital solutions

Year of Appointment


Qualifications & Memberships


  • Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting, Chartered Accountants
  • Currently completing Masters of Organisational Leadership, Melbourne Business School
  • Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Monash University
  • Diploma of Management, Swinburne University of Technology
  • ASFA 146 Superannuation, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
  • Memberships

  • Chartered Accountant, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Fellow, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees
  • Member of FEAL (Fund Executives Association Limited)


  • Group Executive, Finance, Technology and Operations, Hostplus
  • Group Executive, Finance, Strategy and IT, Hostplus
  • Head of Finance and Business Services, Hostplus
  • Manager, Finance and Business Services, Hostplus
  • Financial Controller, Hostplus
  • Financial Controller, VMIA
  • Manager, Fund Reporting (Plum), NAB
  • Accounting Manager, Mercer
  • Manager, KPMG

Stuart Wilkinson joined Hostplus in 2015 and was appointed as Group Executive in February 2020. He is a PhD-qualified Organisational Psychologist with almost 20 years’ experience in senior strategy and leadership roles.

As Group Executive, Strategy & Transformation, Stuart is accountable for setting the strategic direction of Hostplus and delivering the Fund’s digital transformation program.

Stuart leads corporate strategy, business intelligence and the project management office, helping drive a Fund that is innovative, member-focused and successful.

Roles & responsibilities

  • Group Executive – Strategy & Transformation
  • Corporate Strategy, including development and performance reporting of the Hostplus strategy, leading the Board strategy day, facilitation of the Board strategy day, and management of the departmental and whole-of-Fund business planning and review process
  • Business Intelligence, including the development of strategic and operational metrics, quarterly monitoring of the Fund's performance, and the provision of data and insight to various business functions
  • The Project Management Office, including the design and delivery of the Fund’s Business Transformation Program and other strategic projects. This extends to project managing the design and delivery of new products to meet the needs of the Fund’s evolving membership

Year of appointment

2020 (joined Hostplus in 2015)

Qualifications and memberships

  • Combined PhD & Masters in Organisational Psychology, The University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Hons), La Trobe University
  • Registered Organisational Psychologist (Vic)


  • Executive Manager, Strategy and Transformation at Hostplus
  • Head of Strategy, Business Intelligence and PMO at Hostplus
  • Principal, Right Lane Consulting, Melbourne
  • Group Manager, Strategy, Leighton International, Dubai, UAE
  • Senior Organisational Consultant, Willis Towers Watson, Melbourne.

Umberto is a seasoned Marketing and strategy professional with over 30 years’ experience in senior marketing and strategic roles.

His simple but effective application of strategic marketing fundamentals has enabled Umberto to create breakthrough marketing programs and brand campaigns for leading brands in Australia.

Prior to joining Hostplus, Umberto worked with the ANZ Bank, National Mutual/AXA and Zurich Financial Services in marketing and strategy roles.  In 1999, he joined direct marketing agency – trademarkDM as their Director of Strategy and worked on major campaigns for financial services brands including, AXA Australia, GE Capital, Members Equity Bank, American Insurance Group (AIG), and Australia Unity Funds Management. 

In the non-financial services sectors, he worked on several campaigns for BP Australia (BP Ultimate) and leading pharmaceutical brands like Zantac, Zovirax and Lamictal - an epilepsy drug that saw his campaign awarded with an Australian Direct Marketing Silver Effectiveness Award in 2001.

Umberto’s marketing work has been consistently recognised by industry for excellence having received the following accolades:

  • 2017 – Ranked 11th in the coveted CMO Top 50 list in Australia for his Marketing Influence and Excellence
  • 2017 – AIST Platinum Award for Communications Excellence for the Humans of Hostplus campaign
  • 2009 – Rainmaker Superannuation Marketer of the Year
  • 2008 - AIST (Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees) Superannuation Marketer of the Year Award for Excellence;
  • 2008 – ASFA Communications Award
  • 2008 – AIST Gold Communication Award for Excellence

Umberto also holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from RMIT and a Graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership from Melbourne Business School that included module placements at London Business School, INSEAD Singapore and Kellogg University.  Umberto has also completed Squared Online (with honours) – a digital marketing leadership course developed with Google. In March 2021, he also completed and became a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.

Roles & responsibilities


  • Ensure all marketing and communications are professional, high-performing, compliant and consistently member-focused and achieve the key result areas and key performance indicators set in the department’s business and operational plans in alignment with Hostplus’ broader strategy.
  • Oversee and analyse the cost effectiveness, efficacy and compliant delivery of the Fund’s advertising media, recommend media to be used, and secure legal approval of advertising material and ensure all business activities comply with all required legal and regulatory requirements and standards.

    Corporate Affairs

  • Responsible for the Fund’s external relations and for internal communication.
  • Develop and implement strategies to manage the Fund’s relations with the media, government, peak industry groups, sponsoring shareholders, employees and the general public.
  • Develop and implement the Fund’s media relations’ and corporate affairs strategy in line with the commercial and business objectives.
  • Receive, co-ordinate and respond to all media and strategic stakeholder enquiries, engagements, and activities.
  • Manage the Fund’s media releases and other public announcements and responses to media activities and engagements in partnership with Hostplus’ external public relations agency.

    Stakeholder Management

  • Responsible for effective community relationships and delivery of outcomes in consultation with key partners and member stakeholders.
  • Responsible for key community initiatives that allow the organisation to demonstrate a unique place with constituents, increasing public awareness and support.
  • Participate in peak industry bodies’ committees and working groups to advocate and influence direction, policy and development in the Fund’s and its stakeholders and members interests.

    Policy and Advocacy

  • Responsible for effective public policy development, positioning Hostplus as a thought leader amongst stakeholders, regulators, policy makers and the industry.
  • In focussing on members best financial interests, Oversee and manage all submissions and communications and ensuring these are evidence-based and well researched and argued.

Year of appointment


Qualifications and memberships

  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing) - RMIT Melbourne
  • Graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership, Melbourne Business School
  • Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Graduate of Squared Online (with honours)
  • Member of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)
  • Member of Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) National Member Engagement Committee


    Umberto is a seasoned Marketing and strategy professional with over 30 years’ experience in senior marketing and strategic roles. 

  • CEO and Founder of Mecchinism Pty Ltd (Strategic Marketing Consultancy)
  • Chief Marketing Officer Hostplus
  • Executive Director Marketing, IFM Investors
  • Director Client Services, The Shannon Company
  • Strategy Director, trademarkDM
  • Marketing Manager Business Solutions, Zurich Australia
  • Strategic Marketing Manager, AXA Australia
  • Director of EJ Whitten Foundation

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