A surprising anomaly from the Investment Magazine Salary Survey 2017 was that a $4 billion super fund paid the most in chair fees.

The highest-paid chair in the Investment Magazine Salary Survey 2017 was TCorp’s Rob Whitfield, who pocketed $550,000 in total remuneration for the year; however, chairing the board of the state government investment fund forms just part of his broader duties as a senior executive at NSW Treasury.

For the second consecutive year, TWUSUPER, a $4 billion industry fund aligned with the Transport Workers Union, dished out more than any other super fund in chair fees. Its members paid $277,200 for David Galbally to chair the fund.

Galbally’s chair fee was 37 per cent higher than that paid to former federal treasurer Peter Costello to oversee the board of the Future Fund, which manages 41 times more capital than TWUSUPER.

Heather Ridout was paid $171,000 ($106,200 less than Galbally) to chair AustralianSuper, which has 25 times the funds under management and is a far more complex organisation.

The second-highest paid super fund chair was First State Super’s Neil Cochrane who received $213,776 for overseeing an asset pool more than 17 times larger than TWUSUPER’s.

Galbally declined to comment for this article. TWUSUPER deferred questions to a public relations firm, which provided a written statement on the fund’s behalf.

“Members interests are best served by having a chair and a board capable and qualified to make decisions that will keep the fund successful, and maximise returns and member services,” the statement read.

In the latter half of calendar year 2016, TWUSUPER announced its fifth change of chief executive in three years.

Rather than being paid to him directly, Galbally’s board dues were paid to Madgwicks Lawyers, a legal firm where the criminal lawyer is a partner.

Click here to for the PDF version of the chair remuneration table

This article first appeared in the February print edition of Investment Magazine. To subscribe and have the magazine delivered CLICK HERE. To sign-up for our free regular email newsletters CLICK HERE.

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