Chant West, in partnership with Conexus Financial, publisher of Investment Magazine, will present its first ever superannuation and pension awards in May. Both companies have a common vision of improving retirement income solutions and producing better outcomes for members and in the process calling industry participants to account for their actions.
The time has come to name names
Chant West has been a quiet achiever. First opening its doors in 1997 as an independent research and consulting firm advising companies and institutions about their super funds, it has morphed into a now-influential player in the industry, across both retail and institutional. It rates about 230 superannuation and pension funds using its consistently robust methodology, has more than 6000 advisers accessing its research, and more than 7 million consumers with access to its AppleCheck tool.
One thing that has remained constant in its 16-year history, at least until now, is a desire to remain in the background, to stay out of the limelight, to avoid calling one fund better than another. After all, as all good consultants will tell you, it depends.
But the principals at Chant West, Andrea West and Warren Chant, alongside head of research Ian Fryer, believe the time has come to name names.
“Through the awards we are encouraging funds to improve,” West says. “In the past we have been reluctant to say there is one best fund. But we recognise that our methodology gives an opportunity to identify a group of superior funds and these will provide industry recognition to an elite group that has achieved excellence.”
Chant says the awards are a way of demonstrating the rigour applied to the methodology it uses for its ratings and which is made available to clients through its research tools.
Passed the test
Chant West has advised many large companies in their superannuation fund tenders, including OneSteel, WMC, Orica, Boral, Coles Myer, Leighton, Xstrata, Chubb, ANZ, Lend Lease and IBM. It has also conducted asset consulting tenders for Suncorp, Westpac, IBN, First State Super, Harwood, RBF, State Super NSW, Work Cover NSW, Holden, MAIB and Guild.
“So we’ve been tested, and our methodology has been tested,” he says.
Chant says the business has always had the end member in its sights, and he sees the main purpose of the business as helping people understand whether or not they’re in a decent fund.
“In the past we didn’t think there was one best fund – it was different for different people – so we were reluctant to say there was one. We have changed our thinking,” he says.
Chant West has been an enduring voice for change and improvement in the industry. By way of example it has been campaigning since 2002 for better fee and insurance disclosure, and believes most of the issues it has raised over the years will be addressed in the new disclosure regime implemented by APRA. One of the 10 Chant West/Conexus Financial Fund Awards 2013, the Integrity Award will recognise the fund that best addresses these areas.
The Chant West/Conexus Financial Super Fund Awards will be held on May 22, 2013 at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney. Register now.