Sunsuper has boosted its product division, appointing three senior managers in newly created roles. The division, created last year to centralise the super fund’s product design and management, now consists of 11 staff, with Andrew Nicholson, general manager of product, at the helm.

At the head of the fund’s superannuation and retirement products team will be Ben Hillier, whose most recent role was in SMSF product management at ANZ.

Patrick White will be managing the advice and retirement solutions product team, following three years as leader of Sunsuper’s financial advice team, and Keristi Price heads up the insurance products team. Price has spent more than decade in product management roles at OnePath.

Nicholson says the team has more capability to go beyond the standard compliance piece, looking at not only product communications and disclosures, but also design and development of new products.

A faster turnaround and multiple product development are also benefits.

“A fund of our size needs a strong product management capability,” he says.

“We’ve had very strong growth over the last few years, and we anticipate our growth to be stronger going forward.”

A multi-industry fund, Sunsuper has more than 1 million members and $22 billion in funds under management. Nicholson said the retirement product area is an immediate focus over the coming year, but the fund is also looking closely at its advice offerings.

“We think both of those offerings are very key. I don’t at this stage have the specific things that we’re going to do to change those products or further develop those products,” he said.

Rising baby boomer demand

On retirement in particular, Nicholson acknowledges the growth of the segment, with baby boomer demand rising.

“We really need to cater for that. We want to create an offering that is an all-seasons offering… [so] no matter what part of the economic cycle we’re in, we have a full offering for our retirees.”

Nicholson said Sunsuper will research members’ needs as a preamble to further product innovation.

“We have a few ideas, but at this stage, we’re going to be doing a thorough review of our existing advice offering and our existing retirement product. We’ll be looking at the developments in the market over the last couple of years, and then we’re going to work out what we need to do in that space.”

Meanwhile, Nicholson said the fund has divided its customer base into two key segments: indifferent and interested members.

“For our indifferent members, we’re focusing on simple, low-cost, intelligent defaults. For our interested members, we want to offer features, options, choices that assist those members that are interested to better cater to their needs.”

In the insurance space, Nicholson said the fund is looking to improve its existing offering. Last year with group insurer AIA it launched Sunsuper for Life, a combined super and pension product.

“We’ll be looking to do enhancements over the next few years, and none of those are going to be major, but they will be lifting our offer further.”

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