The theme for this year’s Chant West Awards is ‘resilience’. With the big challenges largely thrust upon them – regulatory changes, political sniping and the COVID crisis – the last year has probably been the toughest ever for super funds.
A casual observer of the industry, getting most of his or her information on changes and proposed changes from the media, would possibly think that funds are not doing a good job, according to Ian Fryer, the general manager of Chant West. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In an interview last week (see separate report this edition) coinciding with the decisions on the finalists for 10 out of 12 of Chant West’s annual awards, he said the funds had been very impressive in how they dealt with the past 12 months and engaged with members.
The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at Sydney’s Ivy Ballroom on May 26. The event is invariably a sell-out. See details here.
The 10 finalists for the major Super Fund of the Year category, last year won by Sunsuper, are all not-for-profit funds. They are: AustralianSuper, Aware Super, CareSuper, Cbus, Equip, HESTA, Hostplus, QSuper, Sunsuper and Unisuper.
Bernard Reilly, Sunsuper’s chief executive, who is set to become the chief executive of the merged Sunsuper and QSuper, said while accepting last year’s top award: “We’ve had no better example of our people coming together to provide our services than at this time.”
At the 2020 ceremony, held virtually, Martin Fahy, the chief executive of ASFA, said: “At this point it is beholden on us to be optimistic about the future… The reality is that, as we build back a better system; super funds will play a key role.”
He said that the superannuation system was very important in a time of adversity. “As of now (May 14, 2020) about 1.2 million people have tapped into their super savings. That shows the strength of the system.”
The finalists in the increasingly important Pension Fund of the Year category, last year won by Sunsuper’s merger partner QSuper, include two big commercial providers, AMP and Colonial First State, which were both finalists last year as well.
The 10 finalists for the 2021 Pension Fund of the Year are: AMP MyNorth, AustralianSuper, Aware Super, Cbus, CFS First Choice Wholesale, QSuper, Rest, Sunsuper, TelstraSuper and UniSuper.
The finalists for the other eight awards so far announced are:
- Corporate Solutions Fund of the Year: AMP Signature Super, AustralianSuper, CareSuper, Equip, Mercer Super Trust (corporate), MLC MasterKey Business Super and Sunsuper.
- Advised Product of the Year: AMP MyNorth, BT Panorama, CFS First Choice Wholsale, HUB24, Macquarie Consolidator, MLC Wrap and Netwealth
- Best Fund Investments: AustralianSuper, Aware Super, CareSuper, Cbus, HESTA, Hostplus, QSuper, Statewide Super, Sunsuper and Unisuper
- Best Fund Member Services: AMP Signature Super, AustralianSuper, Aware Super, Cbus, Equip, Mercer Super Trust, Qsuper, Rest, Russell IQ Super and Sunsuper
- Specialist Fund of the Year: BUSSQ, Cbus, Christian Super, GuildSuper, HESTA, legalsuper and Mine Super
- Best Fund Insurance: Australian Catholic Super, Aware Super, CareSuper, Commonwealth Bank Group Super, Equip, Mercer Super Trust, MLC MasterKey Business Super, NGS Super, TelstraSuper and UniSuper
- Best Fund Longevity Product: AMP MyNorth, BT Panorama, CFS First Choice Wholesale, HUB24, Netwealth, QSuper Lifetime Pension and UniSuper Commercial Rate Indexed Pension
- Best Fund Advice Services: Australian Catholic Super, AustralianSuper, Aware Super, HESTA, Mercer Super Trust, MLC MasterKey Business Super, QSuper, Sunsuper, TelstraSuper and UniSuper.
The two awards for which the finalists are still to be announced are Best Fund Integrity and Best Fund Innovation.