Major industry events cancelled amid pandemic

The Conference of Major Superannuation Funds has been cancelled or postponed along with a number of the financial services sectors big events, including charity fundraiser FICAP.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has cancelled the annual CMSF after the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic.

The conference was scheduled to run over three days in Adelaide from 18 March 2020 to 20 March 2020.

"The health of our delegates, staff and industry partners is our priority and we believe it is in the best interests of all to not proceed with CMSF in Adelaide next week," AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said.

"As a not-for-profit member organisation we do not make this decision lightly and are devastated that we cannot go ahead with CMSF in its current form. It's the first time in more than twenty five years that CMSF has been cancelled."

AIST and its member funds and conference partners are exploring options to reschedule the event.

Also indefinitely postponed was FICAP's annual Who Wants to be a Rockstar? fundraiser.

FICAP chair Marnie McLaren said several of the sponsors of the event had placed restrictions on their staff attending large gatherings.

"The safety, wellbeing and enjoyment of our sponsors and guests is of paramount importance to us. As such, we have been left with no option other than to postpone Rockstar," McLaren said.

"You will no doubt be as disappointed as we are but please know this decision has not been taken lightly and is made out of an abundance of caution for you and your people."

She reminded supporters that the charities FICAP is supporting this year - SHINE4Kids, Starlight Foundation and Learning Links -will be continuing their work despite market volatility and COVID-19 outbreaks.

"It's at times like these that they need our support more than ever," she said.

McLaren added that FICAP hopes to rebook the even in the future.

Last week, BNY Mellon called off its International Women's Day event.

Dealer group Synchron postponed its conference which was scheduled to be in May in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Originally, Synchron was considering postponing the event until September but Synchron director Don Trapnell realised that plan was not realistic.

"In my position as a director of Synchron I must take a conservative approach. As there is no vaccine anticipated before the end of the year, I am of the opinion that the spread of coronavirus may be worse in September 2020 than in May 2020 and Synchron will therefore not be moving its national conference to September," Trapnell said.

Class Connect was also indefinitely postponed for 2020, with Class calling for input on an alternative date.

"Given the unpredictability of the situation with COVID-19 and the size and scale of Class Connect, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the event in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our attendees," Class said.

The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia's conference slated for March 17-18 was also postponed.

Read our full COVID-19 news coverage and analysis here.

Read more: FICAPSynchronCMSFAISTConference of Major Superannuation FundsAustralian Institute of Superannuation TrusteesBNY MellonDon TrapnellEva ScheerlinckMarnie McLaren
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