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Kate Farrar to head Queensland's $20b merged super fund

Business

Kate Farrar will head up the merged $20 billion LGIAsuper and Energy Super and its 120,000 members when it takes effect in July.

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The merged fund would be the third-largest profit-for-members fund in the state. It is expected the merger would achieve further economies of scale to deliver lower fees to members and would accelerate the delivery of enhanced services and products.

The appointment coincided with International Womens’ Day. Farrar’s elevation means the future of Energy Super’s Robyn Petrou was up the air, but she would continue to work through the transition period.

A moratorium on redundancies exists until July 2022, unless otherwise agreed.

The merger also adds to the consolidation of the sector. QSuper and Sunsuper have also been in talks over a merger which would create Australia’s biggest fund.

Farrar is currently the head LGIAsuper and chair John Smith said her track record in superannuation, organisational transformation and energy made her the ideal candidate to lead both funds through the merger and integration.

“Kate is an exceptional businessperson whose record of achievement at LGIAsuper is outstanding. In three years, Kate has improved member outcomes and satisfaction, lowered the fund’s cost of providing administration services by 30 per cent and grown the fund by $2 billion,” Smith said.

“Her history of working in the energy sector also ensures that she understands not only LGIAsuper’s members, but also the industries in which many of Energy Super’s 48,000 members work.

“Both boards are confident that Kate will lead our combined organisation to be a strong, boutique, Queensland-centric superannuation fund that will generate better outcomes for members.”

Before LGIAsuper, Farrar was the chief operating officer of Ergon Energy Retail, the chief executive of QEnergy and a senior implementation leader for McKinsey.

After the merger the funds will continue to operate under their existing brands.

Energy Super chair Richard Flannagan praised Petrou after 12 years of service.

“Robyn has done an outstanding job leading Energy Super during more than a decade of unparalleled industry and regulatory change and delivered great outcomes for our members,” Flanagan said.

“With Kate leading the next stage of our growth, we will see a continued focus on operational excellence, personal service and an ongoing commitment to improving the lives of our members in retirement.”

Farrar said her new role represented an exceptional opportunity to “build a sustainable boutique super fund focused on what our members want, and based on the unique strengths of LGIAsuper and EnergySuper”.

“Both funds have similar and complementary strengths and pride ourselves on being Queensland-centric and delivering personalised service to members in their communities and workplaces,” Farrar said.

“Over the coming months, I will be meeting with Energy Super and LGIAsuper members to understand how our combined fund can best deliver for them and help them achieve their retirement goals.”

Work is well underway on the implementation of the merger, with a focus on establishing a joint organisation and single MySuper product to take effect on July 1.

 

 

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