The Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) conference in August, the association’s only annual event which is open to all industry participants, is to focus on three key themes in the management of super funds: mergers; brand equity; and fund features

The one-day conference, to be held at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel on August 10, takes a detailed look at issues from the perspective of best practice in the management of super funds. The three main issues at the next conference reflect the increasingly competitive nature of the industry, which has already resulted in more than 800 super fund trustee boards deciding to merge their funds or outsource rather than obtain a new APRA license, due to take effect from July. Michael Baldwin, the chief executive of FEAL, said the conference always attempted to present views and encourage discussion on topics which were important to both the day-to-day running of a fund and the long-term trends within the industry. He said FEAL’s Program Advisory Group had given careful consideration to ensure the conference program responded to some of the most critical issues facing funds at this time. The conference will look at some of the lingering questions surrounding fund mergers, such as whether a full merger is the best way to achieve scale benefits in all funds. It will also look at some of the hidden costs, such as possible loss of identity and community for the members and contributing employers. The brand equity discussions will involve advice on how to build a brand and differentiate a fund’s image in the eyes of members and prospective members. The fund features discussions, to be led by independent consultant David Edwards, will look at what elements of a fund’s offering look to be most appealing to contributing employers. This will be presented alongside a discussion as to whether the Sole Purpose Test is being tested by some fund features. Further information: www.feal.asn.au or phone (02) 9299 6648.

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