The awards remain the only awards in the industry that are truly independent, with no charge to funds to enter and no financial arrangement with a research house. The awards selection and judging process remains committed to identifying and rewarding examples of industry excellence across the superannuation sector.

The judging committee has changed from last year. Conexus Financial’s director of institutional content Amanda White, and director of retail content Simon Hoyle will be joint-chairs of the judging committee.

The judging committee now includes consumer advocate and chief executive officer of Choice, Alan Kirkland; chief executive officer of the Financial Services Council, Sally Loane; Rice Warner chief executive officer Michael Rice; and former minister for superannuation and financial services Bernie Ripoll. Also participating is Joanna Davison, chief executive officer of the Fund Executives Association Ltd. Nathan Bonarius, actuarial analyst with Rice Warner, completes the current roster of judges.

“For the awards, Rice Warner will be combining the information provided by the funds with our extensive superannuation product database,” said Michael Rice. “This database forms the backbone of our research and is updated and checked monthly with actuarial sign-off for quality assurance.

“Rice Warner scores investments using stochastic projections of member retirement outcomes, with assumptions underpinned by our annual investment survey of leading investment managers and asset consultants. Our group insurance experts review each fund’s insurance value. All results are peer reviewed by members of the consulting team.”

In order to reinforce the integrity of the selection process, and to bring an international perspective to the proceedings, chief executive officer of the NZ Super Fund, Adrian Orr, has joined the judging panel.

To highlight its independence, the deputy chairman from APRA, Helen Rowell, has been engaged as a special advisor, and to run the rule of the regulator over the applications.

This year, three new categories have been added to the awards – best technology offering, best advice offering, and best insurance offering – reflecting the growth and importance of a wider range of sectors within in the industry.

Following the failure of any fund to secure consensus among the judging panel for the award for innovation, this year the award has been broadened to cover innovation and transformation, which aims to showcase examples of where funds have been able to transition to a new way of working with and for members.

Every APRA recognised fund with a MySuper product will receive a pre-populated entry form delivered via email. This can be returned to Conexus for inclusion in the awards.


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