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At ASI, a big picture comes with a small note of caution

While big super is all in on its newly-acquired nation building goals, a hint of caution about member outcomes pervaded last week’s AIST Superannuation Investment conference. Industry super funds have been on a decade-long high, with a reputation boosted by their low cost, robust returns, and their easy passage through the Hayne royal commission. But…

Lachlan Maddock | 17th Jun 2022 | More
Why industry funds must keep ‘the hunger to succeed’: Delaney

Some within the sector believe the super wars are over and that industry funds have emerged victorious. But they shouldn’t take their primacy, or the change in government, for granted. Arriving at work one morning in October 1987, now AustralianSuper chief investment officer Mark Delaney was greeted by a gloomy telex message that said the…

Lachlan Maddock | 15th Jun 2022 | More
‘Lots of levers to pull’ as markets roiled: Michalakis

Hostplus is navigating the current market upheaval – and a murky future – by pumping more money into unlisted assets. But despite a gloomy outlook, the “innovation genie” isn’t going anywhere. “Central banks are clearly behind the game here… and they’re trying to manage higher rates against a backdrop of pretty difficult markets,” Hostplus deputy…

Lachlan Maddock | 8th Jun 2022 | More
  • Lessons from a $5 billion fund in the world of ‘bigger is better’

    Life isn’t always easy at the small end of town, but the $5 billion legalsuper is kicking against APRA’s orthodoxy that bigger is nearly always better. “It’s hard not to notice this incredible fixation in our industry that you’ve got to be big to be here in the future,” says Andrew Proebstl, CEO of legalsuper. …

    Lachlan Maddock | 6th May 2022 | More
    UniSuper’s VC foray a sign of things to come

    UniSuper’s decision to dip its toe into venture capital is all about members. The question is whether the fund will go further down a road that few others have tread.  It’s an investment that would barely move the dial on overall returns, but the $75 million that UniSuper has tipped into early-stage commercialisation manager Uniseed…

    Lachlan Maddock | 25th Mar 2022 | More
    Hostplus, Maritime Super, go all the way

    The two funds have now committed to exploring a proper merger after announcing a pooled superannuation trust (PST) arrangement in 2021 that drew the ire of members of the Morrison Government. Hostplus and Maritime Super have signed a memorandum of understanding and will commence joint due diligence with an intention to merge in 2023, with…

    Lachlan Maddock | 18th Feb 2022 | More
  • ‘Is that the best outcome?’: Member inequality lurks in illiquids

    Despite their surging popularity, risks lurk within illiquid assets that put member outcomes and portfolio quality at risk – and there’s little regulation for handling them. Illiquid assets – anything from infrastructure and commercial property to venture capital and private equity – are experiencing a surge in popularity as institutional investors face down a future…

    Lachlan Maddock | 21st Jan 2022 | More
    Manager biases impair predictive capabilities

    Fund managers are subject to behavioural biases like all of us, such as over-confidence, short-termism and memory distortions. Take their predictive abilities. They are not, on average, especially good. In a unique report for clients, Frontier has published what amounts to a longitudinal study based on eight years of conversations, surveys and other communications with…

    Greg Bright | 3rd Dec 2021 | More
  • Truth, consequences, and insider trading

    The accusations of insider trading hurled at Australia’s big super funds are explosive in nature – and pose something of a headscratcher. Regardless of their weight, reputations are at stake. The revelations made by ASIC on Wednesday last week (October 27) are a tough wake-up call for an industry that prides itself on its duty…

    Lachlan Maddock | 5th Nov 2021 | More
    APRA fires latest salvo in super wars

    A significant chunk of super fund advertising could now be on ice, with APRA finding that marketing expenditure could not be shown to have improved members’ financial position. As stapling puts a nail in the coffin of default distribution, many of Australia’s biggest super funds have turned their attention to the dark art of advertising…

    Lachlan Maddock | 28th Oct 2021 | More