“The only effective way of managing the conflict a director faces in holding multiple and competing super fund board positions is a complete ban.”
However, the policy does not acknowledge that some retail directors are also employed by the parent company of the fund – which in some cases sells services to the same fund, according to Reynolds. “Where you provide services to a super fund, you should not be sitting on its board,” she says.
Directors paid by the parent company instead of the fund would not need to reveal this under the FSC policy, which only seeks disclosure of remuneration from the fund. “Most retail directors would not have to disclose anything under the new FSC policy,” Reynolds notes.
Risk management policies for the impact of sustainability considerations on investment returns and proxy voting records must also become available to all members. According to the new policy, “As the pool of superannuation funds increases, this ownership concentration and influence will only become greater”.