Super fund mergers progressing at faster paces

Needs of members need to be a priority as more superannuation funds merge at a faster than ever pace, according to industry panellists at a recent QMV event, which came as the super industry faces increasing pressure to consider mergers more seriously in the wake of Banking Royal Commission recommendations.

The event featured discussion from the Hon. Nick Sherry, former federal minister and Household Capital chair; Rose Kerlin, AustralianSuper group executive of membership; Katherine Kaspar, Kinetic Super chief executive officer; and Josh Wilson, GROW Super chief executive officer.

The panellists said many superannuation funds that exist today would not be here in five years’ time because of underperformance or because a merger would be more advantageous.

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Stephen Mahoney, executive director at QMV, said the rate of consolidation over the last 15 years had been significant and shows no sign of slowing.

“Panellists agreed that grace periods are over, with more aggressive movement being required,” Mahoney said.

“They said mergers will be driven by a number of factors, including APRA focusing on poor performance, as well as the potential for members to push trustees to wind funds up.

“In addition, technology and the growth of digital offerings in superannuation is changing the industry landscape in multiple ways and will see smaller existing funds seeking new economies of scale.

“Fund trustees need to continually ask themselves whether they should continue to exist, or whether a merger is in the best interests of their members.”

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