Our Board of Directors
Ausgrid Boardroom at RCH
Our Board assumes overall responsibility for our corporate governance and oversees the performance of the organisation, our management, employees and the interests of our shareholders and stakeholders. Ausgrid are currently 49.6% owned by the NSW Government (via the Electricity Retained Interest Corporation or “ERIC”), 8.4% owned by AustralianSuper, 25.2% owned by IFM Investors and 16.8% owned by APG Asset Management Group.

Ausgrid Board Members

Independent Chairman

Helen Nugent was appointed by the Ausgrid Board as a director and Independent Chairman in March 2017 and re-appointed in March 2023. Helen is a professional company director with a strong background in the energy, resources and financial services sectors. She is also currently a Non-Executive Director of IAG and is Senior Independent Director of TPG Telecom. In addition she is Chairman of the Order of Australia Foundation, a Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and a member of the Australian Olympic Foundation and National Portrait Gallery Foundation.

Previously, she has been Chairman of Australian Rail Track Corporation, the National Disability Insurance Agency, Veda Group, Funds SA, Swiss Re (Australia), Sydney Airports and Macquarie Airports. She has also been a Non-Executive Director of Origin Energy, Macquarie Group and Carter Holt Harvey. Prior to becoming a Non-Executive Director, Helen was Director of Strategy at Westpac Banking Corporation and a Partner at McKinsey & Company. 

Helen has had a strong commitment to the arts and education. In the arts, she previously served as Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, the National Opera Review and the Federal Government’s Inquiry into the Major Performing Arts, as well as being Deputy Chairman of Opera Australia. In education, she was previously Chancellor of Bond University and President of Cranbrook School and was a member of the four person Bradley Review into tertiary education.

In 2004, Helen was made an Officer in the Order of Australia, and in 2022 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to people with disability through leadership of social and economic policy reform and implementation, to business, to the arts and to the community.

Helen holds a Masters of Business Administration (Dist) from the Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and PhD from the University of Queensland. She has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Bond University. She is a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.  


Non-executive Director (AustralianSuper)

Jason Peasley was appointed to the Board in December 2016. Jason manages AustralianSuper’s infrastructure investment portfolio and is a member of the leadership team in AustralianSuper’s investment department. Jason has more than 25 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector, working across infrastructure acquisitions, finance and investment management in Australia, Europe and the United States.

A respected senor infrastructure specialist, Jason has regularly been called upon to advise utility companies and manage utility portfolio company investments. Jason has served as a director of NSW Ports and Queensland Motorways, AustralianSuper’s two largest infrastructure investments.

Before joining AustralianSuper, Jason served as Director and Head of Transactions at Hastings Funds Management, a specialist infrastructure investment manager. He was also Director of Infrastructure at Deutsche Bank’s Investment Banking Division.

Jason holds a Bachelor of Business (Banking and Finance) (Honours) from Monash University. 


Non-executive Director (IFM Investors)

Michael Hanna was appointed to the Board in December 2016. Michael has worked for more than 25 years in the design, planning, delivery and financing of major infrastructure projects. He is the Head of Infrastructure – Australia at IFM Investors and is responsible for managing the IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund.  

Michael has previously represented IFM Investors as a Director on the Boards of Eastern Distributor (M1 toll-road in Sydney, NSW); Interlink Roads (M5 toll-road in Sydney, NSW); Pacific Hydro (renewable energy business with assets in Australia, Chile and Brazil); Ecogen Energy (power generation business in Victoria); Wyuna Water (public-private partnership in NSW) and NSW Ports (Port Botany and Port Kembla).

Prior to joining IFM Investors, Michael held senior executive positions at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and global consulting engineers, Arup, in the UK and in Australia.

Michael is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science, (Honours) from Queen’s University Belfast and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Strathclyde, in addition to a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment (FINSIA) and a Graduate Certificate of Management from Melbourne Business School. 


Ausgrid Board Member - Michael Byrne MICHAEL BYRNE
Non-executive Director (IFM Investors)

Michael Byrne was appointed to the Board in December 2016. Michael has over 30 years of executive experience in Australia and internationally in the logistics, supply chain, retail and property sectors. He is a non-executive director of CBH Group, National Intermodal Corporation, Sydney Aviation Alliance, NSW Ports, and Peel Ports Group (UK). Michael is Chair of the Advisory Board of HSE Global and a Strategic Advisor on Infrastructure to IFM Investors and AustralianSuper. He is also Senate Member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at the University of Western Australia. He has previously been CEO of Westgate Holdings, Linfox Logistics and Coates Hire, with responsibility for managing up to 25,000 people in 12 countries in the Asia Pacific. 

Most recently he was a Director, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of Toll Holdings Limited and a Director of the Toll Group.

He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Masters of Science in Infrastructure and Transportation from the University of Denver, USA.


Non-executive Director (ERIC)

Steven MacDonald was appointed to the Board in November 2019. Steven has over 20 years’ experience as a business leader and Board Director having led businesses in construction, infrastructure services and infrastructure ownership during an extensive career with the Transfield Group of companies and more recently in the role of Managing Director of the Zinfra Group.

Steven is currently a non-executive director of DownerEDI Ltd, Chair of Intera Renewables and a member of the Investment Committee of Palisade Investment Partners and the Water NSW Asset Advisory Group.

Steven’s industry experience includes construction and maintenance services in the power generation, renewable energy, power transmission and distribution, telecommunications, gas, water & wastewater, roads & rail, public transport and the oil & gas sectors. Steven has worked in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia and has led company expansions into North America and the Middle East.

Steven’s former executive roles include Chief Executive Marketing and Investments and prior to that Chief Strategy Officer at Transfield Services, Chief Executive Officer of Transfield Construction, Chief Executive Officer of TSI Fund and Chief Executive Officer of public transport operator, Yarra Trams with the most recent executive role with Zinfra Group as Managing Director from November 2013 to March 2019.

Steven is an experienced company Director and has worked in non-executive roles in numerous companies, government boards, joint ventures and alliances. Steven is a former Director of Yarra Trams, Transfield Worley Power Services, Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund, Ratchaburi Australia Corp Ltd, the Federal Government’s Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, the Clean Energy Council and a former member of the NSW Government’s Renewable Energy Task Force. 

Steven is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) from Melbourne University.


Ausgrid Board Member Hans-Martin Aerts HANS-MARTIN AERTS
Non-executive Director (APG Asset Management)

Hans-Martin Aerts was appointed to the Board in July 2022. Hans-Martin is a Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure & Natural Resources, Asia Pacific, at APG Asset Management, one of the largest pension fund asset managers in the world. He is a director of various APG Asset Management investee companies. 

In February 2007, Hans-Martin moved to Hong Kong to establish APG’s first office in the Asia Pacific and has since been responsible for APG’s regional infrastructure strategy and investments. As of 2019, Hans-Martin is also responsible for APG’s regional natural resources investment program.

Prior to working for APG, Hans-Martin was a Senior Portfolio Manager at ABP. He joined ABP in 2001 and has since worked in various areas, including listed equities, structured finance, infrastructure, and natural resources.

Hans-Martin is a CFA charterholder and holds an MSc degree in Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, an MBA degree for Executives from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and an EMBA degree from INSEAD. 


Ausgrid Board Member Jay Ryu JAY RYU
Non-executive Director (APG Asset Management)

Jay Ryu was appointed to the Board in July 2022. Jay is a Senior Portfolio Manager at APG Asset Management, one of the largest pension fund asset managers in the world. Jay is responsible for investing and managing APG’s infrastructure assets in the Asia Pacific.

Jay has more than 15 years’ experience working globally across infrastructure investments, private equity investments, and corporate finance.

Jay holds a Master of Chemistry (MChem, First Class) degree from University of Oxford. She is a CFA charterholder.


Non-executive Director (ERIC)

Gillian Brown was appointed to the Board in November 2022. Gillian is an experienced non-executive director with a series of long-standing board appointments in transport and infrastructure, funds management and debt capital markets. She is currently a director of QIC Limited (including as a member of its Audit and Risk committees), Bric Housing Ltd, the High Speed Rail Authority and Suncorp Group Limited. 

Previously, Gillian was a director of Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited (ARTC), the owner and operator of Australia’s largest rail freight network, and Queensland Treasury Corporation. She also chaired the Audit and Accounts committee of ARTC.
Gillian practised as a finance lawyer until 2016. She was a partner of Minter Ellison from 1994 to 2016 and Chair of Minter Ellison from 2006 to 2009.
Gillian has an LLB (Hons) from University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from FINSIA and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women.


Josh Crane Ausgrid Board of Directors JOSH CRANE
Non-executive Director (IFM Investors)

Josh Crane was appointed to the Board in December 2022. Josh is an Executive Director at IFM Investors with nearly 20 years’ experience across the infrastructure sector. Josh is currently responsible for the origination, execution and management of unlisted infrastructure investments for IFM Investors, with particular focus on energy and transport. Prior to joining IFM Investors, Josh held senior roles with both Major Projects Victoria and Herbert Smith Freehills, focusing on the procurement, delivery and financing of domestic and international infrastructure investments.

Josh was previously a Director of Brisbane Airport Corporation (and associated entities) and member of its Board Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committees, and Director on the Board of Wyuna Water. Josh holds a Masters of Applied Finance, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors..