Kinetic Super has taken home the trophy for Best Insurance Offering at the 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards.

Rice Warner chief executive Michael Rice presented the award to Kinetic Super head of member services George Tannourji at a black-tie gala dinner held at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on March 8.

Tannourji said, “As a small fund, we’ve created a really innovative design, which helps members make sure they’ve got enough cover without significantly eroding their account balance.”

The strength of Kinetic’s insurance offering also helped it pick up the prize for Small Fund of the Year.

The recognition comes just weeks before the high-performing fund is set to finalise its merger deal with Sunsuper, which won Large Fund of the Year.

“The merger with Sunsuper is the big focus,” Tannourji said. “There are a lot of synergies in our culture, but bringing everybody together is going to be a bit of a challenge. So, there’s a mixture of excitement and trepidation.”

Sunsuper and Kinetic Super were jointly recognised with the prestigious Fund of the Year Award.

Other finalists for Best Insurance Offering were: AustralianSuper, BT Super, Statewide Super, Sunsuper, and UniSuper.

Rice said Kinetic was judged by the committee to offer members the best range of insurance options. Funds were scored on the cost of insurance, the terms and definitions of the insurance provided, insurance features and any initiatives funds had undertaken, such as improving affordability.

“Kinetic offered a well-rounded insurance product to members at a competitive price, finding a great balance between price and a full suite of features,” Rice said.

About the awards

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thanked all the winners and finalists for their contribution to making Australia’s superannuation system “even better”.

“There are few industries that have such significant and far-reaching effects on people’s lives,” Turnbull said. “One of the important ways we can build a better superannuation system is by encouraging and awarding innovation and excellence…Tonight’s awards do just that.”

Click here to see a full list of all the winners >>

While there are many other awards nights on the industry calendar, the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are unique in that they are not aligned with a research or ratings house, and do not charge funds to participate. Actuarial and consulting firm Rice Warner assists with quantitative analysis.

The judging committee comprises California State Teachers’ Retirement System chief investment officer Chris Ailman, Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) chief executive Joanna Davison, CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland, Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane, Rice Warner’s Rice, and former minister for financial services and superannuation, the Hon. Bernie Ripoll.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chair Helen Rowell is a special adviser to the judging committee, which remains the only truly independent awards panel in the sector.

“APRA views sound governance practices as fundamental to the delivery of value for money outcomes for members,” Rowell says. “I was, therefore very pleased to see the steps taken by the judging panel this year to enhance the approach to assessing governance and give it more weight in determining the winners in various categories.”

The 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are produced with thanks to platinum sponsor AIA Australia and event partner FEAL.

“AIA is honoured to sponsor the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards, because we feel this is a great way of recognising the important work funds do, looking after millions of members,” AIA Australia head of corporate and master trust clients Anthony Clough said.

“As a purpose-led organisation, AIA has a partnership philosophy at the heart of our business, and funds are amongst our most important partners in the industry.”

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards

VIEW: Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2018 photo gallery 

Nearly $50,000 was raised on the night for the event’s charity partner, The Wayside Chapel. Conexus Financial would like to thank guests for their generosity. If you would like to add to the tally, you can still donate via The Wayside Chapel website.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.