The winners of the fourth annual Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards were announced last night in a ceremony at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

Awards were handed out across eight categories, with the night’s biggest award going to UniSuper for overall fund of the year.

The top fund was determined from an analysis of the winners of the large, medium and small fund of the year awards.

The top award was presented by Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer in a pre-recorded video message, in which she noted UniSuper had been a leader in independent board representation.

She added: “The challenge is continually to improve and be inspired by leaders and winners to provide better outcomes for members.

“Our system can’t just be good enough, it must be an A-grade 21st century superannuation and retirement income system.”

Click here to see Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards photo gallery

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull also appeared via a pre-recorded video message congratulating all the nominees and winners.

They also brought attention to the Wayside Chapel, which “shows unconditional love in a very practical way to some of the most disadvantaged in our community in Kings Cross”, and encouraged people to donate or become involved in its corporate volunteering program.

“Colin and everyone at Conexus can explain why this is so worthwhile. I strongly encourage you to consider this. Your company and your employees will benefit enormously by being involved with the Wayside and its work,” Mr Turnbull said.


And the winners are…

The winners across all eight categories are:

Fund of the year – overall: UniSuper

Fund of the year – large: QSuper

Fund of the year – medium: Local Government Super

Fund of the year – small: Kinetic Super

Default fund of the year: UniSuper

Pension fund of the year: QSuper

Fund of the year – member services: Plum Superannuation Fund

Chief investment officer of the year: Richard Brandweiner, First State Super

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

The Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards winners were determined by a nomination committee chaired by Nick Sherry chairman, FNZ; former Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law; former Senator for Tasmania.

The members of the nomination committee were:

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

Colin Tate – chief executive, Conexus Financial

Committee members were chosen to reflect multiple viewpoints and to ensure that none were beholden to any vested commercial interests.

The committee agreed on the criteria that should be used to assess funds and the weightings for each of the criteria. They then applied that to assess each of the self-nominated fund entrants.

No licensing or marketing fee will be charged to winning or shortlisted funds to promote their achievements in the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2016.

The platinum sponsor for the awards evening was Vanguard, and the gold sponsor was AIA.

Michael Lovett, head of distribution at Vanguard Australia, said: “Vanguard is proud to be sponsoring the Conexus Superannuation Awards for the fourth year in a row. We believe it is important to recognise the efforts being made to support Australian’s financial well-being in retirement.”

“Our core purpose as a business is to treat our clients fairly, and give them the best chance of investment success, and so we applaud the work being done by tonight’s nominees and winners to help their members achieve the best possible retirement outcomes.”

Stephanie Phillips, chief group insurance officer at AIA Australia said: “We are proud to be sponsoring this year’s awards and congratulate those funds that are doing an outstanding job for their members. We are fortunate to partner with a number of these funds and to help make a difference in the lives of members at their time of need.”

Interviews with the winners will appear in a special newsletter next week.

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