The Aussie funds in this year’s Global Top 300

12 September 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Merger activity in the Australian superannuation industry means the country has 16 funds included in the top 300 global pension funds, according to WTW.

The Global Top 300 Pensions Funds report, conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute, found there were 16 Australian funds included, representing 4.9 per cent of top 300 assets under management (AUM).

The only fund in the top 20 was AustralianSuper although Australian Retirement Trust came close behind in 21st place and sovereign fund Future Fund was in 26th place. 

Equip Super and Spirit Super were new entrants this year. Equip merged with Catholic Super in 2019 while Spirit Super was formed in 2021 from the merger of Tasplan and Motor Trades Association of Australian superannuation fund and is in talks to merge again with CareSuper next year. 

Last week, Equip Super chief executive, Scott Cameron, discussed with Super Review how the fund is aiming to grow AUM to $50 billion.

Ellie Boston-Clark, co-head of governance for investments, Australia, said: “The ongoing consolidation in Australia’s superannuation industry has been a major contributor to the rise in ranking of Australian funds, despite the slight weakening of the Australian dollar over the period. 

“We expect the prominence of Australian funds among the top global asset owners to continue in coming years, but as their scale grows, in an ever more challenging and uncertain environment, they will need to shift their focus increasingly to a strong governance focus. This is essential to maintain long-term stability and ensure they meet their performance objectives.”

The report also noted the increased influence of regulators in Australia over pension funds thanks to the Your Future, Your Super reforms that required strong governance by trustees to maintain long-term stability. 

Australian super funds featured in the Global Top 300

Fund Rank AUM (US$bn)
AustralianSuper 18 176
Australian Retirement Trust 21 157
Future Fund 26 133
Aware Super 41 99
UniSuper 67 68
Hostplus  84 54
Cbus 99 47
Rest 107 44.7
HESTA 109 44.4
CSC 132 37
State Super 174 28
GESB 205 25
ESSSuper  222 23
SuperSA 231 22
Equip Super  255 20
Spirit Super 292 17

Source: WTW, as of end of 2022

Overall, there is US$20.6 trillion in combined assets of the world’s top 100 pension funds, down from US$23.6 trillion at the end of 2021 while the top 20 funds saw their AUM decrease by 11.8 per cent in 2022. 
This compared to AUM growth of 8.9 per cent in the previous year. 

The largest fund was the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF) that has US$1.4 trillion in assets under management; the fund has held onto the top spot for over 20 years.

North America held the largest share of assets at 45.6 per cent and 146 funds.

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