EQT HOLDINGS Ltd (ASX: EQT) has announced the appointment of Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited as superannuation trustee for AMP Life Limited’s (AMP Life) superannuation funds replacing current trustees N M Superannuation Proprietary Limited and AMP Superannuation Limited.
AMP Life has more than $7 billion invested in these superannuation funds held by more than 340,000 Australians and has been acquired by Resolution Life Group Holdings LP (Resolution Life), a global manager of in force life insurance businesses.
Following this appointment, Equity Trustees is now responsible for over $20 billion in superannuation assets for more than 700,000 members overall.
Equity Trustees managing director, Mick O’Brien said, “The appointment to AMP Life confirms Equity Trustees as the leading provider of independent superannuation trustee services in Australia. It also marks another leading financial services firm choosing Equity Trustees to provide its specialist fund governance services.”
Mr O’Brien said there was an increasing trend to outsource the trustee role amongst superannuation providers in Australia and overseas.
“The appeal of outsourced specialist oversight of super members’ funds is a growing trend in the wake of the financial services royal commission. Recent market volatility, including unprecedented numbers of people accessing part of their superannuation early, alongside an inherently complex regulatory environment, have also highlighted how a specialist superannuation trustee can deliver value for funds and their members.”
Equity Trustees has grown to be the market leader in superannuation trustee services and has secured several large-scale appointments this financial year, including the appointment by AIA to oversee the CommInsure superannuation funds.
Mr O’Brien said the company had been investing significantly by recruiting specialised professionals to its Superannuation Trustee Office to capture the expected growth in industry outsourcing.
“We aim to be the only choice for large-scale providers with sophisticated needs, who want the best governance structure they can find for their members. That includes global players who want an Australian specialist with deep understanding of the complex regulatory environment,” he said.
Mr O’Brien said the role of trustee was critical to a robust, secure superannuation system.
“The role of trustee has not been well understood, but its value is becoming more appreciated; it must balance technical expertise in the complexities of governance and regulation, with great judgement. This is the essence of being a trustee.”
WITH THE COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the responsiveness and flexibility of Australian systems and its people, as well as exposing some structural weaknesses, the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee will tomorrow hold a public hearing as part of an inquiry into the resilience of Australia’s supply chains and the impact of COVID-19 on the global rules based order.
Witnesses appearing before the Committee will represent an inter-disciplinary consultancy group, an Australian policy, geopolitical and economic think-tank, and experts specialising in ‘grey zone’ defence tactics, strategies increasingly used by other nation states.
Committee chair Senator David Fawcett said COVID has heightened awareness for many Australians that a “business as usual” approach is not sustainable with the dual impacts of the pandemic and the changing strategic environment.
"Reducing acquisition cost has been a major feature of business supply-chain decisions since the turn of the century, including off-shoring production and just-in-time replenishment," Senator Fawcett said.
"This disruption is forcing a national discussion into the weaknesses in some of Australia’s key supply-chain models and an analysis of what can be done to build-in resilience. COVID‑19 has prompted a rethink of our current trade and manufacturing architecture and ensuring defence strategy responds to the new environment, from both a health and a strategic perspective."
Dr Alan Dupont AO, the CEO and founder of consultancy firm Cognoscenti Group, will discuss his submission highlighting the threats to the current global rules-based order and the likely implications for Australia as supply chains 'decouple’.
The Committee will explore this—and the possible emergence of new geopolitical blocs—with Dr Dupont and with another submitter, John Blackburn AO, retired RAAF Air Vice‑Marshal and founder of the Institute of Integrated Economic Research Australia.
Australia’s exposure to geopolitical risks, the stability of near neighbours and its defence and cyber security capabilities will be discussed with joint submitters: Professor Sascha Dov Bachmann, professor in law, University of Canberra; and Dr Andrew Dowse AO, director of Defence Research, Edith Cowan University and also retired RAAF Air Vice-Marshal.
Full terms of reference for the inquiry are on the Committee website.
Public hearing details
Date: Thursday, 2 July 2020
Time: 3pm—5pm AEST
Location: By teleconference
The hearings will be audio streamed live at aph.gov.au/live.
THE Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the announcement by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to invest $100 million into autonomous haulage trucks at its Daunia coal mine in the Bowen Basin.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Queensland coal industry was an early adopter of technology and a world leader in creating the long term jobs of the future through automation.
“What we are seeing from the resources sector, such as BMA today, is companies building high-tech capacity into their operations to improve safety and efficiency,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Technology is a multiplier of jobs and through this investment up to 10 regional businesses including Indigenous businesses would share in $35 million worth of contracts, creating 150 project jobs on top of the 56 new permanent jobs on site.
“In addition Hastings Deering would see an additional 30 regional jobs to work on fitting and converting the trucks.
“Queensland’s resources industry will continue to invest in technology to ensure it maintains leading practices in safety and innovation which will secure the sector’s competitiveness over other mining jurisdictions around the world.”
BMA said the rollout of the Caterpillar trucks would be completed by the end of 2021.
INDUSTRY SUPER FUNDS are poised to spend $19.5 billion on projects across Australia as part of a three-year investment pipeline that will create more than 200,000 jobs.
The capital expenditure was identified as part of a comprehensive survey of industry super funds, IFM Investors and Industry Super Property Trust (ISPT).
The projects will be a key feature of a new advertising campaign fronted by Industry Super Australia (ISA) chair Greg Combet, which highlights how Industry SuperFunds’ investments will help get member balances and the economy growing again.
The projects include new commercial construction, redevelopments, public infrastructure upgrades and making assets more energy efficient.
“We’re already big investors, but we’ve got much more planned that will not only grow our members’ balances but generate jobs and economic activity across Australia," Mr Combet said.
“Government will need to mobilise private investment to create jobs and stimulate the economy – the super system will be vital for this task and industry funds will play a significant role.”
“Crucial to the industry funds contribution to economic recovery will be policy stability in the super system.”
Industry super fund members already collectively own more than $104 billion in Australian infrastructure, property, and other physical assets. These investments create jobs and drive productivity and growth.
The profits generated by these investments have been critical to the good performance of the funds with members reaping the benefits through strong returns. Analysis shows that $100 invested in unlisted assets 15 years ago is now worth $510, in comparison $100 invested in international shares would be worth $351 now.
The survey has also revealed the funds are venturing into new investment opportunities across many sectors – ploughing billions into aged care, affordable housing, direct lending to business and agriculture.
Since the Covid-19 downturn Industry SuperFunds have poured hundreds of millions into the balance sheets of good Australian business, this helps them to rebuild and to expand operations.
And there could be billions more to come, at the end of the Global Financial Crisis superannuation funds provided a significant portion of the $120 billion in capital raised by local businesses.
Industry super funds hold a major stake in Australia’s economic life. They invest in Australian listed companies - holding 10 percent of the ASX – are active in debt markets, have significant infrastructure and property holdings and invest in the wider Australian financial system.
The super system needs a strong Australian economy to deliver for members, and the economy needs a strong super system to support its recovery.
The campaign (which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/RoRYeb7Mmeg) will run across mass media markets including broadcast TV, digital and catch-up TV, online, throughout social media and more. The Shannon Company is the creative agency and ISA’s director of marketing is Alana Burnside.