SuperRatings’ Fund of the Year awards is a night for the industry to let down its hair and celebrate the funds that have stood out from the pack. Last Thursday, 430 people attended the 15th annual award ceremony, at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt hotel, which saw Sunsuper take out the crème de la crème of awards, Fund of the Year, for the third time in eight years, and HESTA named as the inaugural Career Fund of the Year for providing the best offering tailored to its sector. Industry Moves was there too and we're delighted to bring you a round-up of what the winners had to say, as well as a peek at the winners from years passed.
Along with announcing the funds that had most impressed, SuperRatings' chair, Jeff Bresnahan, announced the appointment of former head of research, Kirby Rappell, as SuperRatings' new CEO.
Commenting on the evening, Rappell said: "It was great to be back in Melbourne for the 15th Annual SuperRatings Fund of the Year Awards Dinner. I was thrilled to see over 430 people in the room, including representatives from major super funds, service providers, fund managers and financial advisors. As the industry continues to evolve, it is really pleasing to see all segments of the industry come together to talk about its future and celebrate its achievements." Read our Q&A with Kirby here.
Left: HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey accepting the Career Fund of the Year award. Right: Sunsuper CEO, Scott Hartley, accepting the Fund of the Year award.
The SuperRatings Fund of the Year Awards (2011-2018)
Description of categories
Fund of The Year: Awarded to the Fund with the Best Value End to End Product Offering.
MySuper of The Year: Awarded to the fund that has provided the Best Value for Money Default Offering.
Choice Super of The Year: Awarded to the Fund with the Best Value for Money Offering for Engaged Members.
Pension of The Year: Awarded to the fund with the Best Value for Money Pension Offering.
Career Fund of The Year: Awarded to the fund with the offering that is best tailored to its industry sector.
Rising Star: Awarded to the fund that has excelled in terms of enhancing their value proposition to members through significantly improved services and benefits.
Fast Mover: Awarded to the fastest growing fund in the industry. Typically a leader in terms of product positioning, promotion and distribution strategies.
Infinity Award: Awarded to the fund that best demonstrates their commitment to addressing its environmental and ethical responsibilities.
Super of The Year: Awarded to the fund that has been assessed as providing the best value for money to its members during the accumulation phase.
What this year's winners had to say
Fund of the Year - Sunsuper
Chief Executive Officer - Scott Hartley
“The win highlights Sunsuper’s ongoing commitment to inspire and empower our members to fulfil their retirement dreams. At Sunsuper, every interaction with our members is driven by our desire to help them achieve financial freedom, and these awards are evidence of that. It really shows that as a profit-for-members fund, our members and clients are at the heart of everything we do. The recognition by three different ratings agencies in a single year is a massive achievement and is a credit to the entire Sunsuper team.”
SR50 Cash Index Award - Club Plus Super
Chief Executive Officer - Stefan Strano
“We’re happy to take the cash award home this year. You have to start somewhere, but watch out Sunsuper we’ve got a taste for awards now and we want the big one next time…”
Best New Innovation - VicSuper
Chief Executive Officer - Michael Dundon
"Winning Best New Innovation for our Beeline service was great recognition for all the hard work and creative thinking by the VicSuper team to develop a market leading advice and education tool that our members can utilise 24/7. It’s a terrific endorsement [that shows] just what we can achieve when we work collaboratively across the business and with our members, using best practice design principles. The team here are really pumped not only about the win but the impact Beeline is already having on our member engagement, with big plans for the next phase already underway!"
Infinity Award - Local Government Super
Chief Executive Officer, David Smith
“We are delighted to be recipients of the Infinity Award once again. This Award reflects our commitment to achieving long-term sustainable returns for our members while also actively managing the environmental, social and governance risks across our investment portfolio. As one of the country’s leading sustainable super funds, we invest in long-term growth sectors that will have a positive impact on the wider community, such as renewable energy generation, clean technology, recycling and sustainable agriculture."
SuperRatings Rising Star Award - Statewide Super
Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nunn
"12 months ago we put in place a three year growth agenda to focus our efforts on key priorities including member engagement, brand awareness and a digital overhaul. This accolade demonstrates that Statewide Super is well on its way to achieving these aspirations. This has resulted in more value for members and enhanced the experience that we provide.”
The evening's entertainment
BTIM Retirement Innovation Award - Mine Wealth + Wellbeing
Chief Investment Officer, David Bell
"I’m honoured to have received the BT Investment Management Retirement Innovation Award. This award reflects Mine’s significant focus and support on developing superior retirement outcome solutions for members. It was made possible through the hard work and collaboration of the entire Members Default Utility Function working group and their role in developing this powerful metric has been invaluable."
Fast Mover Award - Australian Ethical
Phil Vernon, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
“We are delighted to be the recipients of the SuperRatings Fast Mover Award for 2018. This award acknowledges another year of substantial growth for our business, and comes on the back of the recent KPMG report which identified Australian Ethical Super as the fastest growing super fund in Australia in 2016, by both membership and assets under management*. In 2016 we saw a 42% increase in Net Flows and a 34% increase in member numbers. People are choosing Australian Ethical as we are the leaders in the responsible investing space. With us, people can enjoy strong investment returns, while knowing their money is doing good for the planet, people and animals.”
*KPMG Super Insights Report 2017. Published 6 June 2017.
Rising Star Award - Watermark Funds Management
Tim Bolger, Chief Operating Officer
"Watermark were delighted to be named Lonsec’s ‘Rising Star’ for 2017. Our business has grown substantially in recent years, a result of strong performance from our funds and an increasing awareness of the important role alternative investments play in client portfolios. Recognition of this growth from the team at Lonsec is a great validation of the hard work put in by the entire Watermark team."
Lonsec Award winners included...
Lonsec Disruptor Award - BlackRock’s iShares
Alex Zaika, Head of Wealth
“BlackRock has always strived to position ourselves to meet the changing needs of our clients. ETFs have already disrupted the global asset management industry, and now in Australia, we are seeing the shift to managed accounts, a move we anticipated a few years ago. It is an honour to be recognised by Lonsec for our ETF model portfolios which we developed to help financial advisors and their clients access scalable, multi-asset, institutional-grade investment solutions as Australia continues the move toward a fee-based advisory model.”
Lonsec Innovation - Bennelong Australian Equity Partners (BAEP).
Craig Bingham, Chief Executive Officer
“The award is a great endorsement of Bennelong Australian Equity Partners’ strategy for the Twenty20 fund—combining active and passive investing to give investors the best of both worlds. This is recognition of the team's strong performance and wealth of experience.”