Outgoing Qantas Super chair Anne Ward
Outgoing Qantas Super chair Anne Ward

Qantas Super chair Anne Ward will step down after 14 years in the role and the fund has added two new names to its board.

The 32,000-member corporate fund for current and former Qantas employees and spouses said in a statement released on Monday afternoon that Ward, who is also an independent chair of Colonial First State, would depart the fund in May. It is understood Qantas Super will announce her replacement by June, with the board voting in May.

In December 2017, Ward spoke to Investment Magazine about her tenure.

“Clearly, I am nearing the end of my term and our succession planning is well advanced,” she said. “However, I find it easy to remain highly engaged and excited about the future for Qantas Super and its members.”

Qantas Super chief executive Michael Clancy thanked Ward for her 15-year commitment to the fund, with 14 of those as chair, which he described in a statement as “unwavering”.

The fund also announced on Monday that it had appointed to the board investment specialist Lorraine Berends and Australian Institute of Company Directors chair John Atkin.

Berends is well-known to the $2.8 trillion super sector. She has served on the board of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia and is now a director on BT Financial Group’s super board and a member of QSuper’s investment committee.

The appointments come after the passing of Qantas Super director Paul Costello in November 2018. He was also chair of the investment committee and a member of the remuneration and insurance committees. He was well-known as the founding chief executive of the Future Fund.

“Paul was a pivotal figure in the super industry, and an enormous asset to the Qantas Super board,” Ward said in November. “Even in his last weeks, Paul remained focused on serving the members of Qantas Super, attending committee meetings and contributing strongly to matters under discussion.”

Future Fund chief executive David Neal delivered a eulogy at a memorial service at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne on November 12, 2018.

In May of last year, it was announced that Equip had taken a slice of Qantas Super’s corporate super pie, inking a $190 million deal to look after the retirement future of more than 1000 of the airline’s former catering employees.

In April, Qantas announced plans to sell its catering business to one of the world’s largest air services providers, Dnata, but the benefits and members will be transferred from the Qantas Super fund across to Equip.

This comes as the corporate super sector begins to fracture in the wake of damaging revelations about retail funds at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

KPMG’s Super Insights Report 2018 states that the corporate sector will experience little or no growth from now until 2028, when it is projected to hold $76 billion. In comparison, the wider super sector is expected to be worth $5 trillion by 2028.

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