Platypus Asset Management names senior analyst Jelena Stevanovic to replace long-time CEO

Platypus Asset Management names senior analyst Jelena Stevanovic to replace long-time CEO

Platypus Asset Management's incoming CEO Jelena Stevanovic.

Platypus Asset Management, a $5 billion equities funds manager owned by Australian Unity, has appointed portfolio manager Jelena Stevanovic as its CEO, replacing Gary Adamson who retires after almost eight years in the role.

Stevanovic, who has been portfolio manager for Platypus’ flagship equities portfolio since 2016, has notched up more than 15 years with the fund manager that the group says positions the seasoned equities analyst to assume the CEO’s position.

The Sydney-based Platypus describes Stevanovic as “an integral member of the investment team” after joining Platypus in 2008 as a senior equities analyst who in recent years has worked closely with head of investments Prasad Patkar.

She replaces Adamson who has been with Platypus Asset Management since 2003 and who since then has overseen growth in assets under management from $40 million to $5 billion on behalf of some of Australia’s largest institutions and super funds.

“I would like to firstly thank Gary for the exceptional leadership and vision he has provided as Platypus CEO and acknowledge the significance of the contribution he has made to Platypus since joining the company as chief operating officer in 2003,” says Platypus chair Geoff Black.

Platypus Asset Management was established in 1998 by trading analysts Don Williams and Nicholas Wright and by 2006 the founders had forged a 50-50 joint venture with Australian Unity, helping drive growth in funds under management. Australian Unity, a member-owned wellbeing company that provides health and wealth services, took full control of Platypus in 2021.

Black describes Stevanovic as a “valued and respected leader in the Platypus business”.

“Her deep understanding of, and contribution to, Platypus’ people-centred and collegiate culture has been well received by staff and clients,” he says.

“Jelena is uniquely placed to build on Platypus’ strong track record as one of Australia’s leading equities funds management businesses and we look forward to watching her positively shape the business in future.”

Stevanovic says she is ready to lead Platypus on its next phase of growth.

“I am delighted to have been given this opportunity,” says the incoming CEO.

“Platypus’ strong performance track record, its talented and diverse team and client-first culture have underpinned the success of the business over last two decades.

“I am very much looking forward to building on these successful foundations, to deliver superior outcomes for a broader range of investors into the future.”

As part of the management changes announced in tandem with the departure of Adamson, Stephen Butel, an analyst with Platypus since 2017, has been appointed to the role of portfolio manager.

Business News Australia has sought confirmation from Platypus Asset Management on when Stevanovic will assume the CEO’s position.

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