Paul Watson, group executive of business growth, product and advice at Hostplus, has been appointed to the Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) board of directors, effective immediately.

Watson will take over from David Elia, who is retiring from the board after nearly 13 years of service.

Commenting on Elia’s resignation, chief executive of FEAL, Joanna Davison, thanked him for his many years of service, and highlighted his significant contribution.

“Mr Elia will be sorely missed. He is one of Australia’s most experienced business leaders, and FEAL has benefitted enormously from his wealth of experience and his commitment to the professional development of leaders in the superannuation industry.

“There is no question that he will continue to play a pivotal role in financial services in Australia through his role as CEO of HOSTPLUS and his many other board positions,” she said.

Elia said that he felt privileged to have worked with the other directors on the FEAL board and was proud of the role he played in transforming FEAL into one of the leading professional development associations in Australia.

“I have really enjoyed my 13 years as a director, but I felt that given the increasing demands of my role at HOSTPLUS, the time is right to make way for someone new. And Paul Watson is the perfect choice to replace me,” he said.

Davison said that she is very much looking forward to working with Watson, who brings considerable experience and skills to the board.

“Paul has been the chair of FEAL’s Programme Committee since 2011, and served on our board from 2006 to 2011. He has more than 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in both the public and private sector, and his counsel and contribution over the years has been invaluable.

“I am so pleased that Paul has agreed to contribute still further by taking up a position on our board again,” she said.

Watson said that he was looking forward to continuing to serve FEAL and its members.

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“It is more important than ever that we strive to support the professional development and leadership capabilities of our executives as they confront the challenges of a rapidly evolving financial services landscape.

“That’s where FEAL plays a pivotal role, and I am looking forward to developing the skills of both current and emerging leaders through my role as a Director of FEAL’s board,” Mr Watson said.

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