The consultative approach of Dr Martin Fahy, coupled with his deep global knowledge, led the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) board to unanimously approve him as their new chief executive.

“We have people from retail funds, industry funds, government funds and public funds on the board, and everyone who interviewed him gave incredibly strong [positive] feedback,” Dr Michael Easson, chair of ASFA, told Investment Magazine.

At a time when there is a proliferation of voices in the industry and an ongoing political debate on the nature of superannuation, the ASFA board saw the ability to work collaboratively with others as a key criteria.

Easson added he was surprised how well informed Fahy was on superannuation and changes around the world, saying he was a confident, thoughtful individual who looked to reach conclusions in a consultative way.

There also seems to be support from the industry, with Jeremy Cooper, who authored a review into financial services, taking to Twitter to congratulate Fahy and the board, on an “inspired” choice.

Fahy starts on November 1 and succeeds Pauline Vamos, who stepped down in July after nine years as chief executive of ASFA.

Fahy is currently a partner in management consultancy at KPMG, where he works with clients across the financial services and other sectors to drive transformational change. His role at KPMG has seen him work with investment banks, wealth management organisations and superannuation funds, as well as service providers to the superannuation industry.

“Martin has a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the superannuation industry, and will bring the considered, evidence-based policy insights that can help shape the long-term success of superannuation in Australia,” Easson said in a statement.

“Martin will lead ASFA into its next period of growth, expanding its role in supporting robust policy debate, and raising capability across the sector.”

Fahy said he was energised and excited at the prospect of working with the board and staff of ASFA to deliver better outcomes for superannuation members and helping to inform and shape the super landscape as it enters a new policy era.

From 2007 to 2011 Fahy was chief executive at FINSIA where he led the organisation’s transformation post the sale of its education business. Prior to FINSIA, he led strategy and development for CIMA in Asia Pac.

Fahy holds a Ph.D from the National University of Ireland, is a former senior Fulbright scholar and has extensive research and policy experience from his time as an academic.

Jim Minto will continue as interim chief executive until Fahy commences in November.

“The board and I would like to thank Jim for stepping in during this interim period. We could not have asked for a better person to ensure a seamless transition during such a critical time for superannuation,” said Easson.

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