Knowledge Center: Publication

Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors

Super boards on the cusp of change

7/18/2014 Heidrick & Struggles
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Super boards on the cusp of change 

Australia’s superannuation funds are on the cusp of momentous change. The federal government is considering measures to increase the number of independent directors on super boards, and is promoting other measures to improve governance and increase competition. Market forces, including rapid transformation of the financial services sector via technology, as well as the growing complexity of a globalised investment landscape, are also driving renewal.

The key to success, as always, is leadership. In this paper, we explore the issues facing the funds, and explore some new solutions.

Superior governance and a supportive corporate culture are behind the success of the world’s top-performing pension funds. Effective boards help to shape an environment where great talent can flourish, and where the leadership team can deliver the desired strategy.

While Australian funds have enviable assets and fund inflows in global terms, thanks to compulsory employer contributions and strong local sharemarket performance, we are arguably at a tipping point when it comes to governance.

Industry funds are facing outflow pressure from members rolling over their nest egg into self-managed super funds (SMSFs), while some for-profit funds are being criticised for high fees.

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