Fund mergers and the changing landscape for superannuation – both retail and wholesale – are among the main topics which will feature at the 13th annual Investment Administration conference in Sydney on Tuesday 23 February.

Tax relief for super funds did not result in a spate of new activity, however, most industry participants are expecting a pickup, with the Cooper Inquiry possibly leading to further inducements for rationalisation.

Leigh Watson, executive general manager of NAB Asset Servicing will chair a plenary session on the subject, with panellists Andrew Proebstl from legalsuper, Graham Sammells from IQ Business Group and Sheena T Kay from KPMG.

The subject will also be discussed in the wider topic of likely outcomes from the various inquiries at another plenary which will include Fiona Reynolds, of AIST, John O’Shaughnessy, of IFSA, and Andrea Slattery, of SPAA – the association for self-managed super fund trustees.

Professor Ian Harper, a director of Access Economics, will also outline his views on permanent changes to the financial system resulting from the global crisis.

Mark Thomas, chief executive of van Eyk Research, will discuss the impact on financial planners and funds managers of the phasing-out of the commission system of planner remuneration.

The conference consists of five plenary sessions and 12 breakout sessions, followed by a gala dinner and awards presentations. It is produced by Investment & Technology Magazine in association with the Australian Custodial Services Association. About 300 attendees are expected.

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