Andrew McCutcheon, APRA’s spokesman, says the regulator cannot comment on MTAA Super. Brumby’s predecessor, John Rickus, says superannuation funds must publicly disclose more details about their investments and operations. “The level of reporting requirements imposed by APRA is nothing like the reporting requirements of listed companies,” says Rickus. “It should be.” MTAA Super says it will publish its audited accounts on its website and the remuneration of its directors and top five executives. The new board will be in place by November, MTAA says. It hopes to appoint a new chief executive by this year. Delaney, the former private secretary to Gough Whitlam, has been CEO since the fund for the Motor Trades Association was established in 1989.
The fund’s investment returns, which an MTAA Super spokesman declined to disclose, have suffered after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. As much as 70 per cent of its capital was invested were in unlisted assets such as private equity, property and infrastructure at November 2008. These asset classes endured steep falls as the world went into recession. MTAA Super’s ‘balanced’ investment option still has 50 per cent of its investments in unlisted assets. In 2009 the fund suffered a $1.9 billion loss due largely to a derivatives contract and a drop in value of its Australian share portfolio. David Lording, MTAA Super’s spokesman, says Delaney wasn’t available for comment. The switchboard at MTAA Super in Canberra refused to place calls to Delaney’s office or to place a call to Brumby. Hostplus, the superannuation fund for tourism, hospitality and sports workers, is the only other fund in Australia with a similar board structure to MTAA Super, says Reynolds, after it came under regulatory scrutiny.