AusSuper Chairman Heather Ridout AO and CEO Ian Silk

The changing role of the chairman and CEO in the superannuation sector

31 May 2019

Under Ridout and Silk’s stewardship, AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund and the largest defined contribution fund in the world, has experienced extraordinary growth.

Their conversation explored:

The outlook for Australia’s superannuation sector in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission
The internalisation of Australian superannuation funds
Governance challenges that unlisted investments present
The impact of technological disruption and workforce transition on the sector’s member base

Heather Ridout, Chair of AustralianSuper

Heather Ridout is Chair of AustralianSuper – the nation’s largest superannuation fund with more than $140 billion in members’ retirement assets; a Director of ASX Ltd and a Director of Sims Metal Management – the world’s largest publicly listed recycling company. Her other appointments include member of the Boards of: the Advance Australia Advisory Board; Australian Chamber Orchestra; Australian Cyber Security Growth Network Board; and is a member of ASIC’s – External Advisory Panel.

Heather’s previous appointments include: member of the Reserve Bank Board; member of the Henry Tax Review panel; board member of Infrastructure Australia; member of the Business Roundtable on Climate Change; member of the National Workplace Relations Consultative Committee; member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing; co-Chair of the Australian-Canada Economic Leadership Dialogue and a delegate to the B20 – the key business advisory body to the G20. In June 2013, Ms. Ridout was awarded the rank of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the general division for distinguished service to business and industry through significant contributions to the development of economic and public policy.

Ian Silk, Chief Executive of AustralianSuper

AustralianSuper is the largest and fastest growing superannuation fund in Australia. AustralianSuper is a profit-for-members industry fund. AustralianSuper has more than 2.3 million members, over 285,000 contributing businesses, and more than AUD$140 billion in members’ assets. AustralianSuper is a multi-industry fund with membership spanning most industries. Ian is the President of Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, a Director of Industry Super Australia, and Basketball Australia.

Dr Martin Fahy, Chief Executive Officer, having joined ASFA

Martin was previously a Partner in management consultancy at KPMG where he worked with clients across the financial services and other sectors to drive transformational change. From 2007 to 2011, Martin was CEO at FINSIA where he led the organisation’s transformation post the sale of its education business. Prior to FINSIA, he led strategy and development for CIMA in Asia Pac. Martin holds a Ph.D from the National University of Ireland, is a former senior Fulbright scholar and has extensive research and policy experience from his time as an academic.