Industry super fund Equip confirmed its merger with the Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund in a move which will double funds under management to $14 billion.
Equip chair Andrew Fairley said since the earlier announcement that the funds were in merger discussions, Equip's position as a major competitor in the corporate superannuation sector had been redefined. It has generated increased interest in growth opportunities offered by the fund.
"We have established a clear and unique position in the corporate superannuation marketplace, which bridges the gap between profit-for-member industry funds and retail master trusts," Fairley said.
"This is a strong signal to other major corporate funds that we are a superannuation provider with which they can confidently do business, whether by merging into Equip, or participating in the fund's Extended Public Offer structure, which provides shared trusteeship and flexible options for investment management and member administration."
Fairley also announced the appointment of Nicholas Vamvakas as chief executive and named the directors of the restructured Equip board who will lead the fund from 1 July 2017.
"As acting chief executive, Nicholas has successfully led and navigated Equip through the negotiations and merger with the Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund over the past 12 months," Fairley said.
"[He] will lead our significantly larger fund into an exciting new era for the fund's members and employers, giving us the scale and resources to continue our investment in industry-leading products and services, while keeping fees and costs as low as possible."
With the appointment of two additional independent directors, Equip moves to the one-third/one-third/one-third governance model, which it believes delivers the capacity to ensure the fund has the best skills and experience to deliver the outcomes members and employer will expect in the future.
||Andrew Fairley (Chair)
Fairley added that Vamvakas' appointment as chief executive would enable Equip to maintain momentum in its strategy to grow and ensure its success in a digital world.
"Nick is supported by a strong team at Equip that has been able to continue to roll out new products, services and platforms while successfully bringing this merger to fruition. The Equip team will be supplemented and strengthened by the addition of the former Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund employees," Fairley said.
"Our focus will be to provide personalised services to members and customised reporting and advice to corporate clients. This will be the key to future retention and growth and help members to achieve financial security in retirement."