Andrew Fairley

Equipsuper has announced a proposal to merge with Vison Super to form an $8.6 billion superannuation fund, which has already appointed a chief executive officer and head of investments to oversee merged assets.

Equipsuper said both funds would pursue the merger to harness the benefits of scale, which include enhanced investment and risk management, and cost-effectively expanding the range of services provided to employers and the expected 150,000 members.

Rob Brooks, Vision Super chief executive, and Michael Strachan, Equipsuper chief investment officer, have been appointed the CEO and CIO of an already created trustee company – Pooled Super Pty Ltd – that will receive the investment portfolios of both funds once the necessary licensing requirements have been completed.

Investment staff from both funds will manage the combined portfolios. The similarity of the funds’ investment philosophies would make the integration of the portfolios somewhat smooth, however the funds currently use different asset consultants, with Equipsuper contracting JANA Investment Advisers and Vision Super using Frontier Investment Consulting.

When asked last month by I&T News if such a merger was being considered, Equipsuper’s chairman, Andrew Fairley, said discussions had been held in recent years but the complexities of Equipsuper was a significant deterrent to any potential merger partner.

He denied that advanced merger discussions were underway.

“We know where we stand, and they know where we stand, and we’ve had discussions over a long period,” Fairley said.

The $4.4 billion Equipsuper and $4.2 billion Vision Super are both profit-for-members funds that have been in operation for more than 60 years.

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