Peter Smith, the longstanding chief executive of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme of Queensland, is the latest in a spate of senior resignations from big super funds which could signal a generational change in the industry.

Smith’s resignation follows that of the chief executive of Sydney-based REST, Neil Cochrane. Smith, who has run the Queensland Local Government fund for 18 years, will be replaced by the fund’s chief manager for investments, David Todd. The fund has grown from about $200 million and 14,000 members to its current size of $3 billion and 60,000 members in the past 18 years. Smith said that the fund’s retention program was one of the reasons for its growth, with ‘dollar retention’ running at 80 per cent when members’ employment was terminated. The fund has about 1,000 members of its allocated pension service, which was introduced in 1993. “It all adds up to a high level of service to members through: sound investment performance; low cost; and targeted and effective member communication,” he said. One of the most significant changes in the industry during his tenure at the fund was “the emergence and growing professionalism of fund executives”. Smith acknowledged the significant contribution in this regard by Melda Donnelly’s Centre for Investor Education and the Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL). He said: “Real challenges are emerging with the shift for all involved in the provision of member services and I ask participants to importantly maintain a member-focused approach to their service delivery.”

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