Former World Bank and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive Greg Brunner has been recruited to lead a panel overseeing the implementation of a voluntary governance code for superannuation trustees.

Brunner will head the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees governance code monitoring panel, which will oversee compliance with the organisation’s new Governance Code.

The code, which comes into effect from July 1, 2018 for all AIST member funds, contains 21 requirements that member funds must report against annually on an ‘if not, why not’ basis.

Brunner, who previously worked for the World Bank, is a former APRA executive who was chair of the prudential regulator’s Superannuation Industry Working Group from 2011 to 2016. In that role, he helped develop governance prudential standards and guidance.

The governance code monitoring panel will include two other members; Maree O’Halloran and Michelle Wright.

O’Halloran has previously been a trustee of several profit-to-member funds, including her most recent role at HESTA for five years, concluding in 2015.

Wright has been a non-executive director across a range of financial services organisations, and served on ethical standards boards in the healthcare sector.

AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said the panel would play an important role in helping drive continuous improvement in governance across the $1.2 trillion profit-to-member sector.

The AIST Governance Code was developed in 2017 with the aim to:

  • Promote continuous improvement of governance in the profit-to-member super sector.
  • Ensure that the profit-to-member ethos is fully supported by fund governance structures.
  • Improve accountability and transparency.

It was developed following an industry-funded review of governance in the sector (jointly funded by AIST and Industry Super Australia) led by former Reserve Bank of Australia governor Bernie Fraser. The Fraser Review was launched in response to the government’s push, currently on ice, to force all super funds to appoint a minimum of one-third independent directors to their boards, including an independent chair.

AIST deputy chair Louise du Pre-Alba announced the appointment of the governance code monitoring panel at the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds 2018, in Brisbane on Wednesday March 14.

READ MORE: All the coverage from CMSF 2018