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Ex-RBA governor Philip Lowe reveals new job - and why he 'waived' huge pay

There's a lot of money to be made when managing huge investment funds, but that's not why the former RBA governor is in this game.

Philip Lowe faced some criticism as the face of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) when the cost-of-living crisis truly started to spiral. But six months after leaving the top job, he’s announced a new role and he won’t earn a huge pay from directors fees.

The former RBA governor will become the chair of the $470 million Future Generation Australia, replacing former NSW premier Mike Baird, and will “waive all directors fees”.

The company provides investors with exposure to equities for non-for-profits which “focus on children and youth at risk and youth mental health”. The fund’s structure ensures, for every $1 billion managed, $100 million is donated to charities each year, with fund managers forgoing fees.

Philip Lowe has revealed his new job with Future Generation Australia.
Philip Lowe has revealed his new job with Future Generation Australia. (Supplied)

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“It says a lot about Phil that he - like all our directors - has agreed to waive all usual director fees, so that we can maximise our social investment without compromising shareholder returns,” CEO Caroline Gurney said.

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It’s Lowe’s first board position since the government decided to end his six-year term.

Lowe faced criticism and calls for his resignation over the RBA’s decision to aggressively hike interest rates to rein in inflation. As governor, he oversaw the raising of the official cash rate from 0.1 per cent to 4.1 per cent in just over a year.

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The governor also came under fire for his comments suggesting interest rates would stay at record lows of 0.10 per cent until at least 2024, stating it was a “good time” for first-home buyers to get into the market.

His decades-long contribution to the central bank was praised by his new colleagues, and predecessor.

“Phil is one of the finest financial leaders in the country and has demonstrated great

integrity throughout his 43 years at the RBA,” Baird said.

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“I’ve always strived to be associated with organisations that enhance the welfare of Australians, so it’s a privilege to work with Future Generation Australia’s shareholders and pro bono fund managers to support our most vulnerable youth,” Lowe added.

Lowe was paid roughly $1 million per year as RBA governor, according to the RBA’s 2022 annual report. This was made up of a base salary of $890,252 a year, plus $115,171 in superannuation contributions.

He was replaced by his former deputy, Michele Bullock.