The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees held its inaugural Awards for Excellence on December 4, and recognised Industry Funds Super and First State Super as joint winners of its Platinum Communication Award.

It was a night that put the spotlight on the super fund staff, highlighting the achievements of those whose work is often “behind the scenes”.

“In times like this when markets are in turmoil, these Awards allow us to pause and reflect on the excellent achievements of the many highly-committed fund staff in our sector,” said Fiona Reynolds, chief executive at AIST. “Importantly, these Awards recognise fund staff, such as those in compliance and business operations , whose behind-the-scenes work is so vital to the ongoing growth and success of our sector”.

The awards and their winners were:

Super Business Development Professional Award : Alison Dixon, HESTA (outstanding reputation with members and employers and plays a leadership role within Hesta)

Super Compliance Professional Award : Richard Grant, AusFund (for work setting up risk and compliance network following the merger of IFS and ME);

Super Investment Professional Award : Mark Sainsbury, First State Super (leadership in investment strategy, management of investment costs has helped ensure the fund is arguably the lowest cost public offer fund; protection of member portfolios during turbulent times.)

Super Marketing Professional Award : Umberto Mecchi, Hostplus ( recognised as an innovative marketer – pioneered industry fund sport sponsorship through sponsorship of Melbourne Storm NRL team, redefined Hostplus’ communication with and education of members, work in financial literacy).

Super Operations/Administration Award : Sharon Parr, Seafarers Retirement Funds ( for her diverse role involving admin, contract negotiation, seminar presentation)

Super Team Award : Cbus (40 plus staff involved in developing the fund’s strategic business plan)

Bronze Communication Award – joint winners : HESTA (HESTA Australian Nursing Awards Campaign);

CARE Super ( InTouch Magazine Campaign)

Silver Communication Award : ESS Super (defined benefit scheme campaign)

Gold Communication Award : joint winners Super SA (Triple S Income Protection Campaign) ; Hostplus (More Magazine Campaign.

Platinum Communication Award joint winners : Industry Super Funds Joint Marketing Campaign: ( Bernie Frasier Reassurance Campaign) and First State Super ( “Call to Action” Campaign )

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