FS SUPER journal reports that there will be more mergers of superannuation funds this year than in any other time in our industry’s history.
MTAA Super and Tasplan recently announced they will be known as Spirit Super after completion of their merger in April and will be the country’s newest industry super fund with $23 billion funds under management and 326,000 members. LGIAsuper and Energy Super are expected to finalise their merger as early as this July, with the resultant group having $20 billion in FUM and 120,000 members.
Late last year, QSuper and Sunsuper announced their merger to create one of the largest funds in Australia, with combined assets of about $182 billion – putting it ahead of AustralianSuper and its $170 billion FUM. Other super fund mergers underway include NGS Super and Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, Media Super and Cbus and the completed merger of WA Super with NSW-based First State Super to become Aware Super.
KPMG estimates that this decade will see a 60% fall in the number of funds and estimates that in five years’ time, the current 217 APRA-regulated funds will have shrunk to 138, a faster pace of mergers and acquisitions than in the retail industry.
One of the biggest challenges of these mergers is how to merge their people. Leaders of merging funds spend a great deal of time, years, considering and then working on the pros and cons of their merger, but not enough on how they will actually bring two workforce’s, two systems, two cultures together.