AvSuper has shared an update on the progress of its merger with Australian Retirement Trust (ART).
In the fund’s member meeting held on 22 November, the fund shared progress made so far and future steps it will be taking.
The two funds signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in February 2023 after a possible deal with CSC fell through and completed its due diligence and signed a heads of agreement in August.
It has set a date for a successor fund transfer to take place in 1 May 2024.
Michael Sykes, chief executive of AvSuper, said: “Between now and May, we are running planning workshops with ART and its administrator Mercer to ensure the transition of services and systems goes smoothly. We are also undertaking workshops around the transition of our assets.
“The logistics of merging a fund are quite significant, we are exercising good governance in working through all steps carefully and diligently. There are monthly steering committees, workstream meetings, it is a key focus as well as keeping business as usual flowing as usual.
“We will be working with ART to work out suitable transition options for our members. We are attempting to map our options with their options with similar risk and return characteristics and asset classes.”
He said the merger’s completion will make 2024 one of the most important years in the fund’s history.
“While 2023 was a big year, we now look forward to one of the most important in AvSuper’s history. We will not take our foot off the accelerator, we will continue to work hard for our members until the transition. After 33 years of loyalty from our members, we owe it to them to close out the fund on a high,” Sykes said.
During the 2022–23 financial year, the AvSuper balanced growth option returned 9.2 per cent.
ART is Australia’s second-largest super fund, having been created in February 2022 through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper. It now has over 2.2 million members and $260 billion in funds under management.
ART is no stranger to mergers, having not only completed its own merger as well as the AvSuper merger, it is also in talks with Alcoa Super that has 5,000 members and Commonwealth Bank Group Super that has 67,000 members.
It has also welcomed a $4.3 billion successor fund transfer (SFT) from Woolworths and Endeavour Group that brought total assets to $260 billion in August.