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Maritime Super and Hostplus announce strategic asset pooling partnership

In an Australian first in the modern superannuation era, Maritime Super will enter into a strategic partnership with Hostplus to combine investment assets. The move, subject to final board approval this week, will allow the funds to take advantage of the broader investment opportunities, lower investment management fees and realise other cost and scale benefits and efficiencies that come from a much larger asset pool.

Effective from 30 April 2021, the new partnership will see Maritime Super’s assets under management — of around $6 billion — combined with Hostplus’ approximate $55 billion of assets via Hostplus’ Pooled Superannuation Trust (PST) to create a combined asset pool of over $61 billion. This innovative scheme is expected to afford Maritime Super and its members immediate as well as long-term investment opportunities typically not available to smaller funds, including in unlisted, “tier 1” assets, such as infrastructure, property, private equity and venture capital.

Maritime Super CEO, Peter Robertson, described the decision to invest alongside Hostplus as a thoughtfully considered and logical strategy to further enhance investment outcomes for members.

“Today’s ground-breaking announcement of our intended investment outsourcing partnership with Hostplus is a terrific ‘win-win’ for Maritime Super’s and Hostplus’ members. It will afford our fund the opportunity to access some of the best investment opportunities and returns available while retaining our ability to focus on the exceptional and tailored services our members expect and deserve from a niche fund such as ours,” Mr. Robertson said.

“This, importantly, extends to insurance cover specifically customised to maritime occupations, a national network of experienced financial planners and a worksite visitation program that keeps the fund close and accessible to its members. We’ve worked closely with Hostplus to establish this strategic partnership and we’re excited to be the first industry fund to leverage this innovative facility,” Mr Robertson added.

Established several years ago, and successfully used to underpin Hostplus’ ability to also offer access to its investment pool to self-managed super funds via its Self Managed Invest platform, Hostplus’ PST is designed to pool assets of eligible complying superannuation entities to invest in high-quality assets managed by Hostplus and selected external investment managers.

Hostplus CEO, David Elia, said the Fund’s PST structure provided a clear and distinctively viable alternative to mergers and acquisitions, especially for smaller funds that other than in terms of investment scale were otherwise well-performing and delivering good and valued member outcomes.

“Hostplus’ PST provides other APRA regulated funds, and especially smaller funds, a viable and effective alternative to a merger by extending their outsourcing operating model to now include the management of their investments alongside one of Australia’s largest and long- term well-performing profit to member funds, while maintaining full control of their fund’s strategy and member and employer relationships,” said Mr. Elia.

“Today’s announcement will represent another milestone in our long-term strategy and provides the market with a clear alternative and confidence that there are viable choices as to whether merging or participating in strategic partnerships with other funds is in the best financial interests of their members,” Mr Elia added.

Despite periods of market volatility, including the unprecedented events of 2020, Hostplus’ assets under management grew by nearly $4 billion, or 8%, this past financial year. “We have consistently delivered strong long-term performance across our investment options, with our default Balanced option ranked in the top-five options over 5, 10, 15 and 20 years, according to SuperRatings1 and we look forward to continuing to deliver in this most important area for ours and Maritime Super’s members in the future too,” Mr Elia said.

1 Source: SuperRatings SR50 Balanced 60-­‐76 survey, as of 31 December 2020.


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