BROOKS_Rob_IT_NewsThe chief executive officer of Vision Super intends to officially retire the day before the fund merges with Equipsuper, an event scheduled for July 1, 2013.

Rob Brooks (pictured) now has the dual role of running Vision Super’s secretariat as well as Pooled Super Pty Ltd, the intended trustee of the existing pooled super trust into which the two super funds’ investments will merge (it is currently awaiting an RSE licence from APRA, after which it will replace Vision Super as trustee of the PST).

“Not that I want the world to know, but I will be turning 65 prior to [July 1, 2013] and I intend to retire. It was only fair to let my staff know my intentions,” he said.

Danielle Press, who left UBS Global Asset Management earlier this year to replace Robin Burns as CEO of equipsuper, is deputy CEO of Pooled Super, while Equipsuper’s chief investment officer, Michael Strachan, will be its CIO and lead the rationalising the two funds’ investment managers.

The board of Pooled Super currently includes all the Vision Super and Equipsuper directors, however the number will be whittled down to nine by the merger date, with four nominated or elected by the sponsoring organisations of each side, and one independent chair. It is widely expected that Press, should she remain with Equipsuper, would become inaugural CEO of the combined fund, although Brooks pointed out this would be a decision for the board at that time.

Brooks expected the investment manager rationalisation would take 18 months, a process aided by the fact both funds use National Asset Servicing as master custodian. He said the funds’ respective member administration arrangements were unlikely to change before July 1, 2013 – equipsuper recently entered into a five-year agreement with Mercer, while Vision has long been a self-administered fund, which also administers the members of “family” local government scheme, Local Super SA-NT.

The three-year timeframe for the merger would ensure it was “done right”, Brooks said, although the considered pace means the new fund will probably miss out on the Government’s ‘window’ allowing the rollover of unrealised capital gains, meant to encourage fund mergers.

“The state of the markets means that’ not so much of an issue any more anyway. We were disappointed that the CGT relief didn’t apply when we began our collaborative arrangement with Quadrant Super (the Tasmanian fund remains its own RSE but invests through the Vision Super PST).”

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