APRA directs NESS to amend constitution

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has issued directions to NESS Super to make necessary amendments to its constitution so that it can appoint a second independent director.

Its intention was to achieve an equal composition of employee, employer and independent directors on the superannuation fund’s six-person board.

APRA said the directions to NESS Super were designed to improve its governance and ensure the board’s structure, skills and experience, as well as to promote a strong risk culture and better position NESS to deliver improved outcomes to members.

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APRA gave the direction following an APRA governance review and an independent review conducted by NESS that identified skills gaps and deficiencies on the NESS Board.

Although the trustee had agreed to appoint a second independent director, it had not yet been able to effect the constitutional change required for the appointment.

APRA said the direction was necessary to ensure NESS and its members would have the benefit of the additional skills and capabilities that the independent director would bring to the board.

APRA executive director of superannuation, Suzanne Smith, said the NESS board was working co-operatively with APRA to expedite the appointment of a second independent director.

"Superannuation trustees must be able to take the steps required to ensure their boards have the full range of skills, knowledge and experience needed for the effective and prudent operation of their funds.

“The promotion of strong and effective governance is fundamental to a robust superannuation industry and achieving good member outcomes. APRA will intervene to ensure that board structures appropriately address member interests and, where required, will give directions to drive the desired outcomes,” Smith said. 

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