There are six weeks until the third annual Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards, with limited tickets left.

This year’s finalists were selected based on a quantitative assessment by Rice Warner upon which the selection committee placed relative weights.

Here is a mini-profile of every organisation and person that made the shortlist.

Awards process

Richard Brandweiner CFA moved from Perpetual Investors to First State Super in 2013, taking a pay cut in the process. He is transforming the fund from a low-cost investment approach to a dynamic one with a greater proportion of illiquid assets.

Jim Christensen took over from Steve Merlicek as Telstra’s chief investment officer in 2010. He has a history as an economist, investor and mathematician working previously as a senior economist for the Queensland Treasury.

Mark Delaney CFA is facing challenges few others in the industry have come across due to the volume of funds under management at AustralianSuper. The amount of assets now directly-owned overseas by the fund means that he is seriously considering opening offices in other countries.

Susan Gosling has previously won an award for her successful management of investments. She has more than 26 years of experience, 10 of which have been with MLC. She is the architect of the market-leading scenarios-based approach to asset allocation.

Paul Kessell CFA has 16 years experience in both the Australian and British markets as an institutional investor. He started at Kinetic seven years ago and was the first to adopt UBS Global Risk System to provide monthly reports measuring various risk exposures of the portfolio.


ANZ’s superannuation and investments business has $50 billion funds under management (FUM) and claims that its Smart Choice Super has the lowest fees in retail superannuation.

The Aon Master Trust was established in 1990 and currently has over $2.5 billion in fund under management, more than 55,000 members and in excess of 500 participating employers.

AUSCOAL Super was established from a merger between the Coalsuper Retirement Income Fund (COALSUPER) and the Queensland Coal and Oil Shale Mining Industry Superannuation Fund (QCOS) and has $8.2 billion FUM.

AustralianSuper is a multi-industry fund, and the largest industry fund in Australia, with 2 million members and $84 billion FUM.

BT Super is part of BT Financial Group, the wealth management arm of the Westpac Group, and has $14 billion FUM.

Energy Super primarily serves energy industry workers in Queensland with more than 49,000 members and has around $5.4 billion funds under management.

Equip has over $7 billion funds under management for members working across a wide range of Australian industry sectors.

Legalsuper has $2.5 billion funds under management and is the industry superannuation fund for Australia’s legal community.

Mercer has more than 240,000 customers in its Super Trust scheme and $18.5 billion FUM, with a number of other funds signed up to its recently launched Lifetime Plus product.

MTAA Super is the national industry-based superannuation fund for the motor trades and allied industries and has $7.5 billion FUM.

NAB Wealth offers two corporate superannuation solutions – The Plum Superannuation Fund and MLC MasterKey Business Super (MKBS) specialising in different areas.

Perpetual is one of Australia’s most highly regarded investment fund managers offering a broad range of products for personal investment, superannuation and retirement to individuals, advisers and institutions.

QSuper is the fund for Queensland government workers, both past and present, and has $51 billion FUM.

RBF is Tasmania’s public sector superannuation fund and has been Tasmanian-owned since it was established in 1904 and has $4.9 billion FUM.

Russell prides itself on consistently frequently rating in the top 10 funds in Australia with $13.5 billion FUM.

Sunsuper has over 1 million members and $26 billion FUM and claims to have the most awards of any fund.

Telstra Super is the largest corporate fund in Australia with more than 100,000 members and $14 billion FUM.


Here is the complete list of all awards and their respective shortlists:

Default Fund of the Year: AustralianSuper, QSuper, Sunsuper and Telstra Super

Innovator of the Year: ANZ, Mercer, QSuper, Russell

Member Engaged Fund of the Year: BT, NAB Wealth, Russell and Sunsuper

Pension Fund of the Year: AustralianSuper, QSuper, Russell and Telstra Super

Large fund of the year shortlist: AustralianSuper, Sunsuper, Telstra Super and QSuper

Medium-sized fund of the year shortlist: Auscoal, Energy Super, Equip Super and MTAA

Small fund of the year shortlist: Aon, Legalsuper, Perpetual and RBF

Chief investment officer of the year shortlist: Richard Brandweiner (First State Super), Jim Christensen (Telstra Super), Mark Delaney (AustralianSuper), Susan Gosling (MLC) and Paul Kessell (Kinetic Super)

There are a limited number of seats for the awards ceremony. To book either a table or a single seat click here.

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