"Making a difference in women's lives": Q&A with Human Super's CEO June 2017

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With men likely to retire $200,000 richer than their female counterparts, it's clear that more needs to be done to support women into healthy retirement. Enter Human Super, a new fund that aims to close the gender gap by catering exclusively to women. Industry Moves speaks with newly-minted CEO, Pascale Helyar-Moray, who talks us through the fund's investment approach and how it plans to stand out from the pack.

What makes Human Super different to other funds that focus on ethical investments?

Human Super is providing an ethical screen, rather than being an ethical investor. This means that our fund will not invest in companies that don't sit with our beliefs, such as investing in companies with all-male boards, coal mines, polluters, human rights abuse track records or makers of nuclear weapons. It has been proven according to the Responsible Investment Benchmark report that investments with an ethical screen outperform non-ethical investments across all timeframes.

Human Super has said that it won’t invest in companies that have male-only boards. In what other ways does Human Super advocate for the rights of women?

Human Super is focused on redressing the superannuation gap that Australian women face. This is brought about by a number of factors including the gender wage gap, career breaks as a result of motherhood, and the return to work after motherhood which for most women tends to be part-time. We need to tackle these issues at a macro and micro level. Macro change can only be brought about by everyone - society, government, industry - all working together. At Human Super, we will be focusing on the micro, that is, the immediate and actionable changes that each woman can make with regards to her financial future. These range from using our personality profilers to better understand their spending patterns, to adopting a 'keep the change' program to contribute daily to their superannuation. We also have a number of planned initiatives to help women advocate for equal pay within their own workplaces.

How do you plan to navigate the market and stand out from bigger, more established funds?

The Human Super proposition is very different to any existing funds. It's bringing cutting edge behavioural data together with personality profiling to provide bespoke, customised behavioural prompts designed to help women minimise their superannuation gap. We are tailoring Human Super to 50% of the market that has not only been underserved but also ignored. We think that by engaging with this segment, through educating, enabling and empowering them, we will not only help each individual woman but Australian women collectively.

How will the fund’s fees compare with other boutique funds and will you be offering insurance products?

In conjunction with waiving all fees while Human Super customers are on maternity leave, a lower overall fee structure, compared to other funds available, is one of the ways in which we are actually helping women to plug the hole in their superannuation. We will be offering insurance too for our Human Super customers. We recognise that women have historically been overcharged when it comes to life insurance premiums; we are now working on an insurance product that will give them a great product at the right price.

What research was conducted prior to launching Human Super around what women want when it comes to managing their money?

Human Super conducted close to 100 one-on-one interviews with women, with topics covering their investment behaviours, saving behaviours, attitudes towards money etc. From this, we were able to put together a value proposition and digital marketing campaigns, which have seen response and engagement rates that far exceed any industry benchmarks or expectation.

What are you most looking forward to about taking on the role of CEO of Human Super?

Making a difference in women's lives.

What prompted you to rejoin the industry after spending five years working on your own e-commerce business, StyleRocks?

Working with Human Super is a tremendous opportunity to not only effect change at a societal level, but also utilises the full suite of business skills gained as a result of running my own e-commerce business.

What was the greatest lesson that you took away from nearly six years at J.P. Morgan AM?

Working with great people means it feels less like work!

What’s the best piece of advice that you have received?

Tough times don't last; tough people do.

Who has had the greatest influence on your life/career so far?

Probably my school headmistress who instilled in us that girls can do anything. 

What was your very first job?

Babysitting; it paid well!

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