Regulatory bar for super set too low, DST says

Those super funds that aspire to simply comply with government regulation amid the current spate of challenges being faced by the sector are setting the bar too low, according to Luke Nardella, superannuation and wealth management lead at financial software provider DST Systems.

While compliance could be enough to keep the regulators happy, it won’t be enough to be a real contender in a future where fund members are looking for something more and funds are aggressively consolidating, Nardella said.

“Clearly, setting your fund to meet the minimum will do nothing more than place you in a chancy, confusing race to the bottom,” he said.

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Nardella therefore suggested a focus on four areas if a super fund wanted to remain in control of its own operations, while also maintaining the flexibility to meet any challenge it may face.

The first area was development of a growth mindset, whereby the fund isn’t constantly “chasing the regulator’s tail,” but focusing on members, not just regulations.

Nardella also said planning should be a focal point, with a fund having a clear understanding of how its business operates today and the gaps it needs to fill in order to move forward.

He also emphasised the importance of building seamless and highly automated processes, as well as being clear about the human resources a fund needed – both in normal and peak workload times – as well as the skills and knowledge its people required.

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