The $2.2 billion TWUSuper began offering members a full financial planning service through outsourced provider Money Solutions in February, and has hired Chant West Financial Services to run its asset consulting tender.
Money Solutions won the three-year financial planning contract following a contest with Industry Funds Financial Planning and Mercer Financial Planning for the business. “There’s a good synergy between what Money Solutions does and what we want for our members,” Bill McMillin, TWUSuper chief executive officer, said.
“But we’ll be monitoring them closely in the first six-month period.” He said the Money Solutions staff were skilled at distinguishing general enquiries from members about personal finance from those who were “really looking for help”.
Given that many members did not possess concise financial knowledge, McMillin said that suitable financial advice provided long-term assistance, and that the fund’s board would keep track of the types of questions members were asking, and the responses they received. “It’s a really sensitive and groundbreaking area for super funds.”
Money Solutions is 50 per cent-owned by Australian Administration Services, which is also a client of TWUSuper. McMillin said that both TWUSuper and Money Solutions were attempting to attract younger members to financial planning seminars in order to educate them about the benefits of long-term saving. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’d like them to think about super and to not leave it too late.”
While Money Solutions was in its first weeks of providing financial advice to fund members, McMillin said that TWUSuper had appointed Chant West to run the tender for its asset consulting contract, which has been with Mercer for almost seven years.
He said the fund would likely agree to a traditional consulting service, as opposed to an implemented consulting model, since the board had always sought active involvement in decisions affecting the fund – “particularly in investments…I’d be flabbergasted if we came up with an implemented model.”
McMillin said this tender would also determine whether the fund should appoint internal staff to undertake some of the regulatory and administrative tasks usually completed by asset consultants. “As investment becomes more complicated, you need more resources to do in-depth research. “We intend to make a decision by early April.”