The seventh annual Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards has received a record number of entries in innovation and technology categories in a year marked by controversy and change across the entire financial services sector.

The super sector was under scrutiny this year with some of its key industry members appearing at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The Productivity Commission also issued its draft report which controversially suggested the notion of a “best in show” short list of super funds, and a range of regulatory reforms were introduced in the federal budget which had implications for group insurance.

There were two new entrants this year – WA Super and IAG & NRMA Super – with strong support for the Best Technology Offering and Innovation and Transformation categories, confirming the sector’s commitment to digital change.

At this incendiary moment, the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards aim to recognise excellence in the industry and encourage super funds to raise the bar in all aspects of their operations. The awards focus on honouring funds that offer products and services which lead to better retirement outcome for members.

Congratulations to all the finalists

Best Insurance Offering

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, Australian Catholic Super Retirement Fund, Energy Super, Sunsuper, UniSuper

Default Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, Equip, First State Super, QSuper, UniSuper

Pension Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, First State Super, QSuper, Sunsuper, UniSuper

Member Services Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: QSuper, REST, Sunsuper, UniSuper, VicSuper

Best Advice Offering

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, First State Super, QSuper, UniSuper, VicSuper

Best Technology Offering

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, BT Panorama, Equip, LGIAsuper, QSuper

Innovation and Transformation

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, BT Panorama, BussQ, REST, Sunsuper

Chief Investment Officer of the Year

  • Finalists: Hostplus’ Sam Sicilia, MLC’s Jonathan Armitage, Statewide Super’s Con Michalakis, WA Super’s Chris West

Small Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: BussQ, Energy Super, legalsuper, Statewide Super, WA Super

Medium Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: Care Super, Equip, LGIAsuper, TelstraSuper, VicSuper

Large Fund of the Year

  • Finalists: AustralianSuper, First State Super, QSuper, Sunsuper, UniSuper

About the awards

Funds are invited to nominate themselves for awards across 11 categories. The committee assesses a broad range of quantitative factors – including fees, investments and member services – and overlays this with a number of qualitative considerations.

The Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are the only truly independent awards within the sector. There is no entry fee and the winners are decided by a volunteer judging committee that has broad representation from all areas of the industry. For the 2019 awards, it has broad representation from all areas of the industry – including the retail and industry fund sectors – and consumer representation.

Last year the committee added a 10 per cent weighting to governance in its assessment of the funds’ offerings. This included an examination of gender balance at the board and executive level, director engagement and director tenure.

Conexus Financial head of institutional content, Amanda White, chairs this year’s committee, which agreed that good governance was an important ingredient for fund success.

The other committee members are:

  • CalSTRS chief investment officer Chris Ailman
  • FEAL chief executive Joanna Davison
  • CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland
  • Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane
  • Rice Warner chief executive Michael Rice
  • Former parliamentary secretary for financial services Bernie Ripoll

The 2019 Fund of the Year will be awarded to the nominee the committee believes has the best broad proposition, and the highest level of innovation and overall excellence.

Merger partners Kinetic Super and Sunsuper were jointly awarded the overall prize for Fund of the Year at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2018.

Then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the announcement via video commenting that there were “few industries that have such significant and far-reaching effects on people’s lives. For most people, superannuation is their second-biggest asset after the family home”.

The 2019 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are sponsored by event partner AIA Australia. All the winners will be announced at a black-tie event on February 28, 2018 at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney. Tickets now available, visit

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