Update from our CEO - welcoming our new CIO
Australia’s superannuation and banking sectors have been in the news, with the Royal Commission and Productivity Commission exposing major failures of values in governance and culture. The mindset of delivering returns to the shareholder at any price has embedded a certain culture into some organisations.
If the industry is to change, the change must come from the top. The whole remuneration structure within the corporate sector has to be looked at.
At CSF we work very hard on our culture and values, and as a profit-for-member industry fund, our member fees are much lower than those of retail funds. Our strong sense of culture and values also guides our approach to remuneration.
This was front-of-mind when we appointed Anna Shelley as our new Chief Investment Officer, to replace Garrie Lette, who is retiring. At CSF, we don’t pay massive salaries or bonuses. We knew when we set out the skills for the CIO role that the successful candidate’s values were ultimately more important.
Anna was selected from a strong field because not only does she exemplify the values of the organisation – integrity, respect, trust, compassion and humility – but her business experience in key executive positions also stood out and will complement the investment process. I welcome Anna to the role and I know she will make a good contribution.
I would like to thank Garrie for his contribution, honesty and hard work. For him it was about getting the best outcome for members. His legacy shows you can achieve and still keep your values. He challenged the company to invest in a way that shows respect to the people, the planet and the profits and he was prepared to argue his case. He will be missed.
One of Garrie’s achievements was a portfolio that is focused on the long term. Our whole emphasis is about the long term. The market is being consolidated through competition in the market and, indirectly, through regulations. Governments now realise that super, worth $2.6 trillion, is too big to fail. So going forward, there will be more scrutiny, regulation, and consolidations; and number of participants in the market will shrink. We believe we can stay in the market, but we must restructure the business and become more commercial, without losing our values and culture, and focusing on servicing our employee’s needs.