The Government has appointed Helen Davis as the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal’s (SCT) full-time chair for a period of five years.
Davis set up her own superannuation consultancy firm in 2013 and held a number of senior roles at QSuper from 2008 to 2012 including chief strategy officer and chief officer, member outcomes. Prior to this she was chief executive of Statewide Financial Management Services.
Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Davis has “a strong understanding of superannuation and the sector and will continue to ensure that the Tribunal fulfils its mediation and settlement role in the important area of superannuation”.
Jocelyn Furlan departed as acting chair at the beginning of March after serving nine years at the SCT.
“The appointment of Davis for five years is significant as it enables the tribunal to fulfil its important part of the superannuation system,” Furlan told Investment Magazine.
Tom Garcia, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, echoed this view, saying the appointment of a new chair with a strong understanding of superannuation allows the SCT to continue its important role as an independent, impartial dispute resolution service for consumers of superannuation.
He also paid tribute to Furlan.
“Furlan gained enormous respect in the superannuation industry for ensuring that the SCT delivered meaningful and fair resolutions to a diverse range of superannuation complaints during a period when the superannuation industry grew dramatically,” Garcia said in a statement.
The appointment helps address concerns raised by legal expert Maged Girgis, a partner at Minter Ellison, who questioned whether the tribunal was properly constructed without a chair, which in turn could give grounds for an appeal.
The position of chair is statutory with many key functions of the SCT only able to be performed by the chair, such as informing APRA and ASIC of potential breaches to annuity policies, life policies or an RSA, according to the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 section 64A.
Davis’ qualifications include a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne/Melbourne Business School; Bachelor of Commerce, University of Adelaide; Diploma of Superannuation Management from the ASFA (Top Graduate); and a Graduate Member from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia is on record saying that Davis is “an experienced superannuation executive with a strong track record of leading significant organisation growth and development”.