The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today announced the appointment of its first independent chair Dr Michael Easson AM, effective 31 July 2015.
ASFA represents participants from across the superannuation sector and its Board is made up of representatives of all sectors. The position of chair has previously been held by one of the various sector representatives.
ASFA decided to appoint an independent chair with a good understanding of superannuation and retirement policy and public policy, excellent governance skills and no close alignment to any particular sector.
"We are very pleased to have secured member approval at the 2014 AGM to make constitutional change and appoint an independent chair. We have completed our process and are absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Michael Easson as the first independent chair of ASFA," said outgoing ASFA chair, Mr Jim Minto. "It is appropriate that ASFA as the 'pan industry' body sets good governance standards with this independent chair position.
"Michael has tremendous governance experience, including in superannuation, and is ideally placed to lead ASFA through the next phase of its evolution. We conducted a comprehensive selection and appointment process and were pleased to see the calibre of candidates considered. This reflects the strength of ASFA and the brand of superannuation. We welcome Michael to ASFA," said Mr Minto.
"I also wish to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Jane Perry who has chaired the ASFA Board Nomination Committee and run a very strong selection and evaluation process for the new chair. My special thanks to her and the other directors involved."
Dr Easson will work alongside and support the well regarded CEO of ASFA, Pauline Vamos.
"I see superannuation as delivering a very strong retirement policy platform for Australians. ASFA is keen to help ensure we maintain confidence in superannuation for all Australians and see that in time it helps to very effectively deliver the retirement aspirations of most retirees," commented Dr Easson.
"I am delighted to be able to work with many exceptional leaders in all areas of superannuation – corporate, retail, government and industry funds and their service providers."
Dr Easson is presently chair of Icon Water, ActewAGL and EG Funds Management. He was a former non-executive Director of State Super, Asset Super, and Chifley Financial Services. Over the years, he has served on several Productivity Commission Panels and has been appointed to government enquiries and boards by both sides of politics.
ASFA would also like to announce that following his retirement from TAL, Mr Jim Minto will not only retire as chair of the Board but also as a director, effective 30 July 2015.
Mr Minto was appointed chair in November 2013, and has been an ASFA Director since November 2009.
"I am very proud to have served as a Director of ASFA over six years and as chair for the past two years. This has been a period where the superannuation industry has faced huge changes and ASFA has positioned itself well as the body that represents all the industry participants. We have worked with all stakeholders and have proposed good policy that will benefit Australia and fund members," said Mr Minto.
"The ASFA Board and management have worked hard and I extend my thanks to them," concluded Mr Minto.
Furthermore, ASFA is pleased to welcome Ms Suzanne Holden, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Administration Services, Link Group to the ASFA Board. She will replace Mr Minto as a service provider representative.
"Ms Holden brings a wealth of experience to the Board. She has previously worked as a senior executive with both British Airways and Qantas where she was responsible for leading significant change programs. In her current role she is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation and is well placed to help guide ASFA during a time of significant growth and change for the industry," said ASFA CEO Ms Pauline Vamos.
"We extend our deepest thanks to Mr Minto for his extensive contribution to ASFA over the past six years. I have no doubt that our new board members will continue to drive positive change in the superannuation and retirement incomes system as well as the industry in the coming years."
For further information, please contact:
Adele Gilbert, ASFA Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.