The Royal Commission superannuation hearings

The fifth round of Royal Commission hearings focusing on superannuation came to a close on Friday 17 August.

Over the two weeks, the ASFA team closely monitored the proceedings and provided a daily update for members.

At the conclusion of evidence, Commissioner Hayne AC QC and Senior Counsel Assisting Mr Michael Hodge QC indicated the next steps in relation to matters raised during this fifth round of hearings.

Written submissions will be invited both from parties having leave to appear and from the public more generally in relation to the policy issues identified in this round of hearings. These should be made, through the Commission’s website, by 5pm Friday 21 September. ASFA is consulting with members in relation to its submission.

Lendlease and First State Super announce plans for US$2 billion multifamily investment vehicle

First State Super has joined forces with Lendlease to establish a new investment platform to develop and hold multifamily (residential for rent) assets in US gateway cities.

Lendlease and First State Super have each committed US$500 million in equity to the new vehicle and plan to create a US$2 billion portfolio of geographically diverse multifamily assets across the gateway cities of New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Lendlease will become the platform’s development, construction and investment manager. The vehicle will be seeded with two existing Lendlease multifamily projects that are currently being completed in Chicago and Boston with an end value of more than US$400 million.

The US multifamily sector is valued at more than US$3 trillion and has delivered higher and less volatile returns than most major US real estate sectors during the past 25 years. The strength of the sector has been underpinned by a major shift to renting, which has seen more than six million renter households created in the US over the past 10 years.

First State Super head of income & real assets, Damien Webb said: “We are excited to expand our strong and longstanding relationship with Lendlease into a market and sector that we believe has very attractive long-term fundamentals.”

August edition of SuperCPD out now

The latest issue of ASFA’s online CPD program, SuperCPD, is now available for subscribers. In addition to the regular CEO update, economic outlook and regulatory update, topics in the August edition look at the Productivity Commission’s draft recommendations; the government’s proposed retirement income framework; operational rules for AFCA; and reforms relating to superannuation guarantee compliance. SuperCPD provides a flexible online CPD solution that enables you to achieve your annual CPD requirements, while keeping up to date with industry reforms and best practice. For more information, visit ASFA’s website.

Artificial intelligence can predict your personality by tracking your eyes

New research reveals that your eyes may also be an indicator of your personality type, simply by the way they move.

Developed by the University of South Australia in partnership with the University of Stuttgart, Flinders University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany, the research uses state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms to demonstrate a link between personality and eye movements.

Findings show that people’s eye movements reveal whether they are sociable, conscientious or curious, with the algorithm software reliably recognising four of the Big Five personality traits: neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

Researchers tracked the eye movements of 42 participants as they undertook everyday tasks around a university campus, and subsequently assessed their personality traits using well-established questionnaires.

UniSA’s Dr Tobias Loetscher says the study provides new links between previously under-investigated eye movements and personality traits and delivers important insights for emerging fields of social signal processing and social robotics.

“There’s certainly the potential for these findings to improve human-machine interactions,” Dr Loetscher says.

“This research provides opportunities to develop robots and computers so that they can become more natural, and better at interpreting human social signals.”