Aine Henry

HESTA Super Fund took out the top investment award at the 2010 Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) Awards for Excellence dinner, which aims to recognise the hard work of superannuation fund staff and also the best communication campaigns for the year.

The Super Investment award was awarded to Robert Fowler, executive manager for investments and governance of HESTA Super Fund.

“My team and I worked on using a quantitative methodology to compare various asset classes and the managers within each asset class,” he said.

Over the last 12 months, Fowler believes a key trend was the further integration of environmental, social and governance issues into investment processes by super funds as well as by their funds managers.

“Also, I think there’s just a greater thinking and questioning about tactical asset allocation within the strategic allocation process,” he said

“Lastly, to gain more focus on costs, more focus on what MER we’re paying for our various investments.”

HESTA was also the winner of the Bronze Communication award for its co-contribution campaign.

Peter Theodorakopoulos, general manager for marketing and client services of Care Super, won the Super Marketing award.

“Members are becoming much more savvy with when it comes to super. When they buy a mobile phone, the way they scan and compare is just incredible so we’re trying to have a similar approach. We try to give our members information they need and allow them to compare funds,” he said.

The Platinum Communications award was awarded to Health Super.

Carol McKelson-Timmins, chief operations officer, said the fund’s long-term strategy was to create an awareness of the fund among young people, and do so with a minimal advertising budget.

“What it was about was to not really make students aware of super but to make them aware of our brand,” she said.

“Then, we’d gradually introduce super but gave them something to identify with. When those students start work a couple of years later and signed up to super, we hoped they’d remember our name.”

Fiona Reynolds, chief executive officer of AIST, said it would take a few years before member accounts and member confidence recovered from the impacts of the global financial crisis.

“It is in this sort of environment that the potential for confusion and disengagement is high. Communication with members and employers and other stakeholders is therefore vital for superannuation funds.”

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