Qld home to fastest-growing super funds

28 June 2023
| By Rhea Nath |
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Australia’s Sunshine State is now home to two of the country’s fastest-growing superannuation funds following the successful merger of Brighter Super with Suncorp Super last month.

Previously, Queensland-based Australian Retirement Trust (ART), which had some $230 billion in funds under management and over 2 million members, was the fastest-growing super fund according to KPMG Super Insights 2023. It saw 74 per cent fund growth through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper in 2022. 

The merger of Brighter Super with SPSL Master Trust (Suncorp Super) on 31 May 2023, which created a $29 billion fund with over 250,000 members, has become second-fastest growing fund in the nation, recording 56 per cent fund growth. 

“Through growth and consolidation of the two funds, including ours, we are doing our part for financial services in Queensland,” said Brighter Super chief executive, Kate Farrar. 

It counters a decades-long trend that has seen control of some large Queensland companies move to southern states or overseas after acquisitions and mergers.

Farrar added that, with the Suncorp Super merger complete, Brighter Super is planning to again double its size from $29 billion to around $60 billion through future merger opportunities. 

“We have identified that $60 billion is an optimal size to deliver consistent results with optimal efficiencies, while still delivering a boutique service to our members,” she said. 

“We will always remain a not-for-profit industry fund with our heart in Queensland but remain open to partnering with other funds to deliver even better outcomes to our members.”

Notably, the merger with Suncorp Super marked the first time a retail fund had merged into an industry super fund, returning the ownership to members. 

Previously, the creation of Brighter Super through the merger of LGIASuper and Energy Super has allowed the fund to take advantage of market conditions that contributed to it having three investment options MySuper, Growth, and Balanced in the top five of the SuperRatings rankings for the first nine months of the financial year to the end of March 2023. 

Farrar reiterated that Brighter Super would remain wholly a not-for-profit industry fund, though the Suncorp Super merger would provide the capacity to offer some of the services that have been available to Suncorp members such as wider financial advice options.

“We can take the capacity that existed in that fund and we’ll be able to use it to deliver better advice services to all of our members,” she said. 

“We are growing at scale, but we will continue to focus on personal, face-to-face, good quality advice.

“Brighter Super’s intention is to provide members with personalised service wherever possible.”

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