There will be no award for innovation in the 2016 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards owing to a paucity of new ideas in the industry.

The outcome arose after the selection committee could not pick a winner from 13 separate fund applications for the award.

The seven-strong committee which included representatives from retail and industry super funds decided not to give an award this year.

Nick Sherry, who is the committee chair and also senior adviser, superannuation and pensions at Citi, chairman, FNZ, and a former Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law and former Senator for Tasmania, said: “It is disappointing to say that the innovation entries were not of a standard that the committee felt warranted a winner. There was also no evidence-based ability to measure if the innovations had any noticeable impact on members.”

There was a general recognition from the selection committee that the heavy focus on regulatory compliance over the last few years had limited the time and resources funds had for innovation.

It was also commented that APRA’s increased focus on risk had been a barrier to funds’ appetite for innovation.

The other members of the selection committee are: Tom Garcia, chief executive, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees; Alan Kirkland, chief executive officer, CHOICE; Sally Loane, chief executive officer, Financial Services Council; Michael Rice, chief executive officer, Rice Warner; The Hon Bernie Ripoll MP, Federal Member for Oxley, former Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, former chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services; and Colin Tate, chief executive, Conexus Financial.

The winners of the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2016 will be unveiled at a special black-tie event at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne, on March 3, 2016, which is being sponsored by AIA and Vanguard. You can purchase tables of 10 or single tickets by clicking here.

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