A merger between industry fund Equip Super and mining giant Rio Tinto’s Staff Superannuation (RTSSF) is on the cards and likely to be executed later in the year following the completion of due diligence on the deal.
The move is part of a trend for corporations to hive off their super fund management responsibilities to dedicated super funds. Last August the Reserve Bank of Australia moved its super balances over to Sunsuper to manage.
According to Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority data only 31 out of a total of 231 funds were identified as “corporate funds” for the year to June 2015.
Equip confirmed merger discussions and said the new merged fund would manage assets of $13.5 billion for approximately 75,000 members, Super Review has reported. Equip is a multi-industry fund that grew out of the old Victorian State Electricity Commission super fund.
The merger would see the Equip board move to a model of one-third independent, one third employer, and one-third member directors. Equip said that Rio would likely have the right to nominate one of the employer directors.
Equip chair, Andrew Fairley, said the merged fund would deliver significant benefits of scale to members and employers, as well as underpin the continued development of innovative product initiatives, improved employer and member services, and expand the fund’s education programs for members.
Mr Fairley noted that the important considerations for the merger were complementary fund cultures, a common fund administrator, and a shared custodian service provider.