Superpartners will hire 70 new people between July and September, mostly to prepare for the operational start-date of the 1.1 million-member AustralianSuper on November 1.

Call centre provisions for the merger mega-fund were previously spread between Sydney (for former STA members) and Melbourne (for ARF members), but Superpartners chief executive Frank Gullone said all frontline operations were being relocated to Melbourne. “We are hiring new call centre staff and training all existing staff to deal with an expected rush of members asking for information about the new fund, post November 1,” Gullone said. He said there would be no job losses among Sydney staff, many of whom will be transferred to MTAA Super, which is currently expanding its headcount at Superpartners’ Sydney call centre. The Sydney office will remain a processing centre for AustralianSuper, which Gullone said was also increasing headcount to handle the new fund’s enhanced insurance functionality and redesigned member investment choice menu. Superpartners recently moved to a larger Sydney premises at 477 Pitt St (it was previously in George St) while its Melbourne call centre is in Casselden Place on Lonsdale St, and its IT team works out of 333 Collins St. Gullone admitted it was sometimes frustrating working from two inner-city Melbourne locations, but ruled out a move to suburban or regional premises any time soon. “Our call centres need to be close to our clients, because they regularly visit and engender our staff with the spirit of what they are trying to do. A lot of members like to come to our shopfronts as well, and of course the city is a central point,” he said. Gullone added that attraction and retention of quality staff was difficult in a full employment environment, and said city locations were big pluses in that regard. Meanwhile, Gullone repeated his frustration at being excluded from the tender process for AAS, which he revealed was conveyed to him personally by Kaz Group chief executive, Mike Foster. “The message from their clients was that more competition is good… it’s pretty disappointing for them to announce an open tender and then tell us afterwards that we’re not included,” he said. “How do they know what a potential buyer will do with [AAS] anyway, they could break it up and divest parts of it.”

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