REST Super scooped Super Fund of the Year, in large part due to pioneering a new insurance offering for members said Damian Hill.
The chief executive of REST Super said the fund had put a greater focus on members’ future income cover rather than Total Permanent Disablement (TPD), at the ceremony last night.
“We had a focus on insurance and that’s really starting to pay off now. Our members’ key asset is their ability to earn future income, and that is really where we needed to focus our disability-type insurance, when we put that in place it was quite unique. We weren’t afraid to do it, because we’d done the research and we knew it applied to our member demographic,” he said.
Hill also said when it comes to investment decisions the current, tough environment will continue to ramp up the need for super funds to have increasingly strong internal capabilities and board-level experience.
“Our investment heads and board don’t always agree… but they are prepared, because they are often old heads and have seen cycles, that when the time comes to make decisions they have the courage to. Decisions recently are harder to determine – a few years ago they were easier decisions to make,” said Hill.
Presenting the award, Warren Chant, director of Chant West commended the depth of REST’s internal team, along with its early adoption of tailored insurance to better meet the needs of its member base.
“REST’s stand-out strength is its investments – not surprising when you look at the close involvement of some of the industry’s top investment professionals. These include Ken Marshman and John Nolan on the Investment Committee, Stephen Carew from JANA and a very experienced internal investment team led by George Zielinski.”
Chant added: “REST’s insurance also helps set it apart. Rather than follow the usual fixed cost death and TPD route, REST redesigned its cover back in 2008 to meet the specific needs of its relatively youthful membership.”