Ralston dumps director roles

After a rancorous response to her appointment on the retirement income review panel, Deborah Ralston has formally stepped down from the SMSF Association (SMSFA) and Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System.

Previously the chair of the SMSFA and Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System spokesperson, Ralston has moved to rescind both roles, as well as her directorship of the SMSFA.

The association's chief executive, John Maroney, will take over as the Alliance's spokesperson. The SMSFA is one of several associations and advocacy bodies counted among the Alliance's membership, including the Association of Financial Advisers and National Seniors Australia.

Meanwhile, the SMSFA yesterday confirmed vice-chair and Vanguard head of corporate affairs Robin Bowerman as Ralston's replacement new chair. Former chair Andrew Hamilton has been appointed vice-chair.

Ralston said it was unfortunate that she found herself in a position where she felt it appropriate to leave the SMSFA, but noted she must resign given her appointment to the review panel.

"It has been a privilege to work with my fellow directors, the executive, and the members, all of whom are dedicated to ensuring Australians enjoy a secure retirement," Ralston said.

Bowerman added he was honored to be asked to succeed Ralston, and paid tribute to her leadership of the association.

"Although we are all greatly disappointed at losing Deborah before the end of her term, we totally appreciate why she has chosen to resign and wish her all the best in this new important role," Bowerman said.

"She has provided the association with sound leadership at a difficult time for the industry, and I know I speak for all members when I say her contribution has been greatly valued."

Read more: SMSFAAlliance for a Fairer Retirement SystemDeborah RalstonSMSF AssociationAndrew HamiltonAssociation of Financial AdvisersJohn MaroneyNational Seniors AustraliaRobin BowermanVanguard
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