$26bn joint venture takes off

Equip and Catholic Super have joined forces. The $26 billion venture will manage funds for 150,000 members with an aspiration to be a much larger entity by 2025. It will be governed by a new, skills-based board of 12 directors.

Andrew Fairley, chairman, said the unique tie-up sets the scene for further industry consolidation.

“This is a new dawn and a new era for super mergers as we scale up to benefit members under an extended public offer (EPO) licence,” he said.

“At a time when funds are being urged to merge, Equip and Catholic Super have a rare opportunity to be one of the industry’s great growth stories. We’re open for business with an APRA-approved licence, attractive to funds that are keen to drive down costs while maintaining their distinctive brands and member engagement that they’ve always been known for.”

Danny Casey, deputy chair (former Catholic Super chair) encouraged other funds to follow suit and consolidate under a ground-breaking house-of-brands model that grows funds under management.

“As trustees we have a firm obligation to act in our members best interests. With the industry being challenged to consolidate further, funds that are seeking to ensure they can deliver sustainable member outcomes are encouraged to be part of this new and innovative approach. We’ve studied this model and unlocked the potential to join forces and maintain our super fund’s heritage. Those who join can retain their distinct identity that attracted members to their fund of choice in the first place. For example, our Catholic Super members, who care for and educate millions of Australians every day, will retain their high-performing brand and exceptional service from their award-winning, in-house service centre.”

MetLife encourage industry to rebuild trust with BFO

MetLife has worked with The Banking and Finance Oath (BFO) over the last five months to build a bespoke program that educated staff on The Oath, building on the existing values of the business and strengthening the ‘speak up’ culture.

The Banking and Finance Oath was started in 2012, as an initiative by The Ethics Centre and industry representatives who wanted to improve the ethical standards and reputation of the financial services industry.

The program included Cris Parker from the Ethics Centre and BFO director talking to staff about the role ethics plays in business decision making, along with education and communications on the values of the Oath. Following the roll out of the program, more than 40 per cent of MetLife staff have taken the Oath and MetLife plans to continue working closely with The BFO to support its staff through ongoing education and embedding the Oath into the business.

The BFO and MetLife are now joining with fellow signatories to encourage the rest of the insurance and financial services industry to support their staff in taking the Oath, by providing education and driving awareness. The Oath is a simple way for individuals to publicly declare their intention to uphold high ethical standards and help to rebuild trust in the industry.

Richard Nunn, MetLife Australia CEO, reflected on the work with The BFO, saying, “We believe in doing the right thing and we know there is work across the industry to do to rebuild trust.”

John Laker, chairman, The Banking and Finance Oath, says, “We’re very encouraged by the level of engagement from MetLife. We know that taking the Oath enables individuals to demonstrate their pride in their workplace and their industry. People want to see ethics being prioritised and management leading by example.”

Zurich awarded group insurance mandate from $8b Industry Super Fund

Zurich has secured a group insurance mandate from Energy Super.The mandate is Zurich’s first since it acquired OnePath Life in June this year.

Commenting on the announcement, Gerard Kerr, head of OnePath proposition and group insurance, said it underlined the commitment of Zurich to the group market, and the strength of its proposition as a local expert within a specialist global insurance group.

Energy Super CEO Robyn Petrou said: “We are the fund of choice for the energy industry, so our insurance offering has to be affordable, comprehensive and responsive to meet the needs of people who work in higher-risk occupations.”

Tim Bailey, CEO Zurich life and investments said Zurich was now a large, multi-channel insurer and believed it had the opportunity to become a leader in the group sector.

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