Fund consolidation and post merger stories were among Investment Magazine’s most read in 2022, unsurprisingly given the wave of mergers within the super fund sector under the direction of APRA. While the annual super fund salary survey continues to draw readers as remuneration information is valued for peer benchmarking and retention.
Other major stories that pique reader interest was how asset owners were managing rising inflation and expansion strategies.
Here are the most read stories on Investment Magazine:
(1) 2022 Super fund salary survey
The super fund salary survey revealed the cost of hiring investment professionals had increased substantially, given the war for talent as asset owners navigate through an unprecedent period of volatility.
The aggregate pay for the top 10 highest paid super industry CIOs jumped by around 10 per cent in the June 2021 financial year. By comparison, the aggregate salary for the top 10 highest paid super CEOs only grew by about four per cent.
(2) Vanguard Super set to shake up local super industry
US giant Vanguard was granted a super fund licence in August, in a move that will lift industry standards in product innovation, member experience and investment returns said Minister of financial services Stephen Jones in November.
(3) BT deal has the potential for market transformation
Westpac was the last of the big banks to sell its super business when it put the $46 billion BT super business up for sale which was eventually acquired by Mercer Super. However, the sale of its BT Panorama platform business has not concluded, despite earlier statements the company was aiming to finalise the deal by 30 September.
(4) Queensland’s new mega fund aiming to double in size
The long-awaited merger between QSuper and Sunsuper in February created the $220 billion Australian Retirement Trust, Australia’s second largest super fund after AustralianSuper.
Led by chief executive Bernard Reilly, the fund expects to hit $500 million by 2030 on the back of possibly more mergers, the growth of its corporate super account business and through external financial advisers.
(5) Hostplus tops SuperRatings balanced option index
Hostplus – Balanced topped SuperRatings’ SR50 Balanced Index over both a one-year and 10-year investment period amid challenging and volatile investment conditions.
Hostplus – Balanced achieved a 1.6 per cent return over 12 months and 9.7 per cent over 10 years. Falls in domestic and international share markets have hit the balances of super funds with around 95 per cent ending the financial year in the red.
(6) AustralianSuper may hit $500 million without need for mergers
AustraliaSuper’s then newly-appointed chief executive Paul Schroder says the fund may hit half a trillion by 2026 without mergers given the rate of new members joining and amount of capital inflows.
The fund appointed its first head of retirement, emphasising the growing focus super funds are placing in the decumulation asset phase with more Australians retiring.
(7) Aware Super, Cbus eye fund managers to expand
Two of Australia’s largest super funds said they would consider purchasing external fund managers as they grow their internal investment teams and expand offshore.
More super funds are expanding their internal investment capabilities to source and manage investments directly as they grow in size.
(8) Game changer on the horizon for Funds SA
The South Australian government introduced competition to the public sector superannuation system earlier this year by allowing members of Super SA to select their own fund.
The incumbent state super fund Funds SA had been stepping up with new investment products and member support in preparation for the move.
(9) ‘Transparent and competitive’: Vanguard Super launches with low fee products
US financial behemoth Vanguard finally launched its much-anticipated super fund in November with an accumulation product including a default fund as well as a range of index-based diversified and single sector investment options.
The fund claimed the default option was the lowest cost in the market for member balances under $50,000 and for members aged 47 and under.
(10) Watch inflation, monetary policy, trim exposure to shares in 2022: AustralianSuper’s Delaney
AustralianSuper will trim back on its equity holdings, increase its holdings of fixed interest and expand its overseas footprint to manage rising inflation said AustralianSuper’s CIO Mark Delaney.
Like other asset owners, AusSuper was looking to put more capital in unlisted assets such as infrastructure and property to provide a hedge against inflation.