HESTA’s Harris rewarded for member feedback system work


Sam Harris, HESTA’s general manager for ‘insights and customer experience’, has taken out the Pendal Group ‘Retirement Innovation Award’ at the annual SuperRatings/Lonsec Awards night last week. The enhanced technology better monitors member feedback in a range of fields and media.

Harris was also a finalist for this award last year – which was won by Mine Super’s CIO, David Bell, – but in the latest assessment showed that he and his team had gathered momentum with the project over the past 12 months. Other finalists this year were:

  • Jean-Luc Ambrosi, the executive general manager of marketing and digital at Telstra Super, who oversaw the development of the fund’s behavioural segmentation strategy
  • Steven Hack, manager of product and advice for BUSSQ, who oversaw the introduction of a service which assists retiring members and others to make CentreLink applications and monitor the progress, and
  • Lyn Melcer, the head of technical advice at QSuper, who helped introduce a program for indigenous members in remote communities to re-engage with the fund and/or find lost contributions.

HESTA says: understanding members’ needs and feedback is becoming increasingly important. However, as funds grow in size and complexity, being able to monitor member feedback and drill-down into its key elements is more important than ever.

HESTA, like a number of funds, has had a ‘voice of the customer’ platform in place for a number of years. However, the way in which this has been enhanced over the past year has been a standout for this year’s review.

“HESTA has integrated ‘voice of the customer’ feedback through tableau-based dashboards that allow people across the organisation the ability to better see and understand the key feedback being provided,” the fund said in its application. “This can be accessed more quickly and easily than we have seen elsewhere in the market and allow for the fund to observe issues that may arise and processes which can be improved.”

Presenting the award, Richard Brandweiner, Pendal Group’s chief executive for Australia, said Australia was still “a long way away from having a great retirement incomes system”. He said the current system was really designed to get people to about their 80s. He was happy to see Pendal as stewards of its clients’ capital, he said.

BT Investment Management, the separately listed former associate of Westpac and BT Financial Group, was renamed Pendal this year at a function at the ASX. The name is an historic one for the old BT. It comes from an amalgam of letters from the name of its first institutional clients, in 1971, which was the Dalgety Pension Fund. Pendal Nominees was a trust structure used by BT through the 1970s and 1980s.

Note: the author was one of the judges for the Award.

– G.B.