Industry superannuation funds Maritime Super and Hostplus will enter into a strategic partnership to combine investment assets via Hostplus’ Pooled Superannuation Trust (PST).
The move, which was subject to a final board approval this week, would allow the funds to take advantage of the broader investment opportunities, lower investment management fees and realise other cost and scale benefits that came from a much larger asset pool.
If the partnership was approved, it would be effective from 30 April, 2021, and would see the $6 billion maritime industry fund’s assets combined with the $55 billion held by the hospitality super fund.
This would give Maritime Super members access to investment opportunities normally not available to smaller funds, which included unlisted assets like infrastructure, property, private equity and venture capital.
Peter Robertson, Maritime Super chief executive, said the decision to invest alongside Hostplus was a logical strategy to enhance investment outcomes for members.
“It will afford our fund the opportunity to access some of the best investment opportunities and returns available while retaining our ability to focus on the exceptional and tailored services our members expect and deserve from a niche fund such as ours,” Robertson said.
“This, importantly, extends insurance cover specifically customised to maritime occupations, a national network of experienced financial planners and a worksite visitation program that keeps the fund close and accessible to its members.
“We’ve worked closely with Hostplus to establish this strategic partnership and we’re excited to be the first industry fund to leverage this innovative facility.”
The PST was established several years ago and was used to underpin Hostplus’ ability to offer access to its investment pool to self-managed super funds (SMSFs) via its Self Managed Invest platform.
It was designed to pool assets of eligible complying superannuation entities to invest in high-quality assets managed by Hostplus and selected external investment managers.
David Elia, Hostplus chief executive, said the fund’s PST structure provided a clear and distinctively viable alternative to mergers and acquisitions, especially for smaller funds that other than in terms of investment scale were otherwise well-performing and delivering good and valued member outcomes.
“Hostplus’ PST provided other APRA [Australian Prudential Regulation Authority] regulated funds, and especially smaller funds, a viable and effective alternative to a merger by extending their outsourcing operating model to now include the management of their investments alongside one of Australia’s largest and long-term well-performing profit to member funds, while maintaining full control of their fund’s strategy and member and employer relationships,” Elia said.