As merger talks bubbled in the background throughout 2016, the executive team at NGS Super was also busy implementing a number of technology upgrades and expanding the fund’s advice offering.
In November 2015, the $7 billion industry fund for non-government schools announced it was in talks with rival QIEC Super to form an $8 billion master trust. More than a year later, no final word on the proposed amalgamation has been announced.
Away from the merger talk, improving online services, data-management systems and advice are key focus areas for NGS Super chief executive Anthony Rodwell-Ball.
NGS is a finalist in the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017, in the category Medium Fund of the Year (for funds with $5 billion to $10 billion in assets).
Investment Magazine will feature Q&As with all the finalists, ahead of the winners being revealed at the awards dinner in Sydney on March 9.
Here, Rodwell-Ball reflects on other recent milestones and his priorities for 2017.
IM: What was the biggest development at NGS Super in 2016?
ARB: We had an eventful year, successfully bringing a number of projects to completion (or near completion). Last year, NGS Super launched a new and completely redesigned website, with a structure that will enable a truly personal customer experience as we continue to invest and develop it.
At the back-end of the technology platform, we ramped up our Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) software system, fully integrating it. This is enabling the fund to better understand and predict members’ and employers’ needs.
The fund also completed the migration of its advice practice from Mercer to Guideway Financial Services. To support the take-up of advice by more members, all NGS customer relationship managers have now been trained and accredited to provide limited personal advice.
What do you expect to be your biggest area of focus in 2017?
A continued investment in our digital capabilities. This aims to deliver a more customised and personal experience for members, which in turn increases their loyalty to the fund.
What do you consider the most important measure of success for the fund?
Converting ‘account holders’ with little relationship or loyalty to NGS Super into people, who identify as part of our membership, which will increase loyalty and long-term value for both parties.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
The uncertainty driven by continual legislative change, which serves to erode confidence and trust in superannuation as a reliable, long-term savings vehicle.
Can you provide an update on master trust talks with QIEC?
Not at this stage.
The winners of the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017 will be unveiled at a black-tie event at the Ivy, Sydney, on March 9, supported by Vanguard and AIA Australia. You can purchase single tickets or tables for 10 by visiting the event website. The Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards proudly support The Wayside Chapel.