The finalists of the Chant West/Conexus Financial Super Fund Awards have been revealed by the research house Chant West. The firm last week informed finalists across 10 categories, including Super and Pension Funds of the Year and Master Trust of the Year.
The finalists for Super Fund of the Year are AMP Signature Super, AustralianSuper, CareSuper, HOSTPLUS, Plum Super, QSuper, REST, Sunsuper, Telstra Super and UniSuper.
The unique Asset Consultant of the Year category drew five finalists, namely Frontier Advisors, JANA Investment Advisers, Mercer, Russell Investments and Towers Watson.
Funds that have been nominated in five or more categories are AMP, AustralianSuper, MLC/Plum Super, QSuper, Russell Investments, Sunsuper and UniSuper.
The selection process is based on certain criteria and research-team consultation. Apart from the Longevity Product Award, funds had to merit Chant West’s top rating – “5 Apples” – to be included as a finalist, of which there are either five or 10 in each category.
“We rated about 230 super funds and 150 pension funds in late 2012. For super funds, this involved scoring them on about 150 factors under our six main criteria,” says Warren Chant, principal at Chant West.
The criteria include investments, member services and insurance (see table below).
Funds were scored on each of these criteria, applying the weights shown in the table to arrive at the funds’ overall scores.
“Our starting point in deciding the finalists in each award category was to consider the top-10-to-15 scores for the relevant criteria from our ratings process. So, for example, the finalists for the Best Fund: Member Services are those that scored highest on that criterion alone,” says Chant.
“Our research team then debated those scores to see whether they truly reflected our views of the funds given our experience and knowledge of them. In some cases, this subjective input caused us to revisit our scores, which resulted in a change to our rankings.”
The process was applied to each award category, and Chant says senior management also reviewed the entire process for “its robustness and consistency”.
Chant West will be meeting with all finalists, and will issue questionnaires relating to a range of forward-looking issues relevant to their award category.
“Based on the responses we receive and further internal debate, we will decide on the winners,” says Chant.
For a complete list of finalists and more information, visit www.chantwest.com.au.