There is a fascinating convergence – unlikely and surely unintended – of several of the brightest minds in our Parliament currently examining the influence on our economy of Australia’s biggest superannuation funds and the world’s largest fund managers.
Tim Wilson, Liberal MP and now minister-in-waiting, has long had a serious interest in the consequences of the economic might of the $3 trillion superannuation sector, dominated by industry funds, some of them now merging into financial behemoths. Labor’s Dr Andrew Leigh has a long-held serious interest in the consequences of common ownership in rival firms by global fund managers. The two, along with fellow MPs including Liberals Jason Falinski and Celia Hammond, and Labor’s Dr James Mulino are conducting inquisitions of industry super funds and fund managers. While this looks like the typical partisan battle between the Coalition and Labor when superannuation is put in the political spotlight, both sides of the aisle are concerned about concentration effects on competition, albeit with very different institutions in their sights.
No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, the results of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics’ inquiry into the implications of common ownership and capital concentration in Australia will make interesting reading.
Do not miss Chaneg Torres’ blog here. Deputy CEO Blake Briggs and Chaneg (Policy Manager, Investments & Global Markets) will be appearing before the Inquiry soon. (note: Wilson has been promoted to the Morrison ministry and will be replaced as Committee Chair.)
This first week of October sees a huge raft of financial services reform, more than our Nick Kirwan can remember in his 35+ years in life insurance. Watch his video here, and Michael Potter’s here, as they acknowledge the extraordinary work our teams have achieved together. As well as helping our sector more efficiently adjust to DDO with our target market determination templates and data standards, another success milestone for us will be the publication of our White Paper on Financial Advice, the culmination of two years' work by Policy Manager Advice, Zach Castles and our members. You will want to attend the launch. FSC members can register here.
Finally, in my seven years running the FSC, one learning stands out from the myriad significant policy wins and reforms my team has achieved for our members – how financial independence is a life-changing factor for women. It can also be lifesaving. The NSW Government has launched a great resource for members who need information about increasing levels of financial and economic abuse, which particularly affects women. Two of our members, First Sentier Investors and EY have contributed to the new video, Support My Economic Safety. See here.
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