Getting senior leadership to adopt data

Getting senior leadership to buy into data as a strategic asset is one of the biggest challenges facing superannuation funds, according to QSuper.

Speaking at an International Business Review webinar, Rein Van Rooyen, QSuper head of investment performance and operations, said a robust data strategy would help funds adapt to regulatory change.

Van Rooyen said there was so much happening in the industry which could be aided by data, including new portfolio holdings disclosures; Your Future, Your Super; and CPS 226 requirements.

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“If I’ve got a good handle on my data, I can do portfolio holdings disclosures quite easily and that then informs a lot of other considerations throughout the investment domain,” he said.

“I can actually analyse my performance against Your Future, Your Super benchmarks… and in terms of the CPS 226 requirements, I can think about lateral optimisation, but I can only do that if I’ve got that whole of fund collective data strategy that considers all the interactions.

“We have to take each of the senior stakeholders on that journey and get them to understand and appreciate that.”

Van Rooyen said one of the easier ways to get senior leadership to adopt was to frame challenges solely around regulation, but that it was also important to consider other teams.

“Yes, we need to make sure that we manage the compliance aspects of the fund… but at the end of the day, we’re there to provide members with the best financial outcomes,” Van Rooyen said.

He said it was therefore paramount to also get the investment team on board as they were one of the biggest stakeholders.

According to Van Rooyen, COVID-19 precipitated QSuper’s investment team to buy into the strategy as it ensured access to exposures and portfolios in real time, whereas they used to have to wait for the next custodian feed.

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