AUSTRALIA - Australian multi-industry pension funds have had to take on extra staff due to a dramatic increase in members and assets caused by the rapid decline of company schemes.
David Hartley, chief investment officer at Sunsuper, explained the whole industry was consolidating rapidly, with corporate superannuation funds closing down due to onerous licensing requirements.
Sunsuper has about one million members and A$13bn worth of assets, it grew by $4bn last year.
Ian Silk, chief executive AustralianSuper, said one of the reasons for the growth in the financial year to 30 June 2007, when its assets grew by 36% to $28bn and membership grew by around 10% to 1.3 million people, was due to the significant transfers from other funds.
This included corporate funds closing down and transferring, as well as individuals transferring their own account balances from other funds into AustralianSuper.
Silk said: “We are developing in-house investment expertise. We have expanded this team from two to ten over the last year.”
Damian Hill, CEO, Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST), said the fund grew by $3.1bn during the year to over $14bn and membership grew by just over 100,000.
Hill explained REST had been adding staff throughout the business over the last 12 months.
Companies that have recently wound up their funds and joined Sunsuper included ABN AMRO, ACNielsen, Hanson, HSBC, Procter & Gamble, Simplot and Hitachi Construction and Machinery.
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