7 June 2023: Vision Super CEO Stephen Rowe to head combined fund
Vision Super and Active Super sign heads of agreement
Vision Super and Active Super have signed a merger heads of agreement. The funds intend to merge to create a new, larger entity with around $27 billion in funds under management, 170,000 member accounts and a broader geographic presence across NSW and Victoria.
Vision Super Chair Lisa Darmanin and Active Super Chair Kyle Loades said: “Our two funds have a lot in common. The combined strength of a single fund across NSW and Victoria, with a focus on delivering strong retirement outcomes for members, will serve our members in local government and beyond for decades to come. We’ll be stronger together, without losing the focus of both funds on exceptional service and strong returns.
“It is exciting to be moving to the next stage of the merger process. Our funds share a common heritage in local government and remain committed to delivering sustainable, long-term returns for members.
“We’ve modelled the benefits of the merger, which found a range of synergies. Over time, combining the funds, streamlining our offerings and moving onto Vision Super’s internal administration platform will translate into lower costs, improved member services and innovative technology. We expect to see cost savings and greater economies of scale as time goes on. Those synergies will mean strong benefits to members of both funds.”
Appointment of Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Rowe, Vision Super’s current Chief Executive Officer, has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the merged fund. Both Chairs welcomed Stephen’s appointment.
“Stephen has been with Vision Super for nine years,” Ms Darmanin said. “Over that time, his focus on driving down costs for our members and achieving strong risk-adjusted returns has seen Vision Super become one of the most efficient super funds in Australia. Vision Super’s MySuper option is currently top quartile over all periods to 10 years, as well as ranked in the SR50 MySuper top 101 – and our MySuper fees and costs sit favourably in the lowest quartile according to APRA data.2
“On top of that record of strong performance and lowering costs, Stephen has experience with multiple transitions, and we are delighted to announce he will be leading the new fund. Stephen’s vision and drive will serve the merged fund well as we look to capitalise on our growth and cement our position as one of the best funds in the market.”
The current Active Super CEO, Phil Stockwell, will be leaving the fund and Active Super Deputy CEO, Donna Heffernan, will become Acting CEO until the merger is complete.
Mr Loades said: “Donna is a well-respected member of the executive leadership team. She has been with the fund since 2010 and will continue to work with the Active Super Board and leadership team to oversee the completion of the merger process. We look forward to Donna’s continued contribution through transition and beyond.
“On behalf of Active Super I would like to congratulate Stephen on this appointment as we work to bring these two funds together. I would also like to offer my thanks to Phil Stockwell for his leadership as CEO of Active Super over the past three and a half years. Phil has successfully overseen substantial change in a short period of time. He led the fund through Covid, delivered a successful rebrand to Active Super (from Local Government Super), and returned the fund to net member growth while we continued to deliver solid investment returns for our members,” he said.
Members will be kept informed as the proposed merger progresses, which is expected to be completed around mid-2024.
1 SuperRatings SR50 MySuper survey as at 30 April 2023
2 APRA Quarterly MySuper statistics March 2023, statement of fees and costs for a representative member with $50,000 account balance for all MySuper products.