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Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees
Join us as we talk to guest speakers about the key issues driving superfunds into tomorrow
Jul 1, 2021
Episode 1: Episode 40: Climate risk – what can investors do about it?
It’s well accepted that climate change presents a significant risk for long term investors and that they need to consider both the risk and opportunities the transition to a low carbon economy creates. But what practical role can investors have in reducing climate risk in their equity portfolios? Dr Wilma de Groot, Portfolio Manager, Managing Director, Head Quant Equities Portfolio Management at Robeco provides her thoughts on how direct voting and engagement can be the most effective way to achieve meaningful change. Dr de Groot also discusses her recent research into voting patterns of US asset managers in relation to environmental proposals. With thanks to Stephen Dennis, Head of Robeco Australia, for his assistance with this episode. Guest Dr Wilma de Groot, Portfolio Manager, Managing Director, Head Quant Equities Portfolio Management at Robeco Host Mel Birks, General Manager, Advocacy, AIST This document is distributed in Australia by Robeco Hong Kong Limited (ARBN 156 512 659) (‘Robeco’) which is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) pursuant to ASIC Class Order 03/1103. Robeco is regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission under the laws of Hong Kong and those laws may differ from Australian laws.
Mar 29, 2021
Episode 39: Your Future, Your Super | A panel discussion
The Your Future, Your Super legislation announced in the 2020 Federal Budget and currently before Parliament proposes the most significant changes to superannuation since the system started. Although there is widespread support for the intent of the legislation, which is to reduce multiple accounts, address super fund underperformance and improve transparency and accountability, the approach proposed in the legislation is another matter. A broad range of submitters on the legislation have voiced profound concerns that not only will the legislation fail to reach its objectives, it will actually make outcomes worse for members. These concerns are heightened by the fact that the legislation departs significantly from Productivity Commission and Royal Commission recommendations and delegates significant power to the regulations, which are yet to be released. This episode is the audio from a webinar recorded on 29 March 2021 where our panel of experts break down the ramifications for trustees. Speakers * Peter Burn – Chief Policy Adviser, Ai Group * Anna Engwerda-Smith – Director of Policy and Research, IFM Investors * Dr Pamela Hanrahan – Professor of Commercial Law and Regulation, UNSW Business School Host * Eva Scheerlinck, Chief Executive Officer, AIST
Mar 14, 2021
Episode 38: Best Financial Interests duty – concerns with proposed legislation
Legislation currently before Parliament proposes to amend the ‘best interest duty’ to ‘best financial interests duty’ and will fundamentally change the role of super fund trustees. The draft bill reverses the burden of proof, putting the onus the trustee to prove it discharged its duty rather than on the regulator to prove they did not, as the law currently stands. It also allows regulations to be made banning certain payments or investments - regardless of whether the activity is in the best financial interests of members. These proposals are part of the Your Future, Your Super package announced in the 2020 Federal Budget. If it passes Parliament, the changes will take effect on 1 July 2021. These are profound and significant changes. This episode is the audio from a webinar recorded on 10 February where our panel of experts break down the ramifications for trustees. Speakers Natalie Cambrell. Principal Solicitor, KHQ Lawyers Scott Connolly, Assistant Secretary, ACTU Peter Burn, Chief Policy Advisor, Ai Group Christian Gergis, Head of Policy, Australian Institute of Company Directors Host Eva Scheerlinck, Chief Executive Officer, AIST
Feb 28, 2021
Episode 37: AIA-CancerAid Coach Program - meeting the needs of members and supporting return-to-work
Millions of Australians are diagnosed with cancer every year and while survival rates are improving, it is an overwhelming and distressing experience. AIA is working with CancerAid to help its members living with cancer, to assist them to gain greater control over the disease. In this podcast Simonie Fox from AIA and Dr Jonny Lo from CancerAid, discuss the work they are doing to help members better manage their care and share insights into some recent research CancerAid has undertaken. Guests Simonie Fox Head of Shared Value Partnerships, AIA Australia Dr Jonny Lo, MBBS (Hons), PhD Strategy Lead at CancerAid, Host Mel Birks General Manager, Advocacy, AIST
Feb 17, 2021
Episode 36: Mythbusting – Emerging Market Debt
Emerging Market Debt is a rapidly growing investment class but there remain a number of myths about it. Rodica Glavan, Head of EM Corporate Fixed Income at Insight Investment helps bust myths about its size, growth and characteristics. She shares her insights on how EMD has fared throughout COVID, the impact of the change of Government in the US, why EMD has lower leveraging that other similar assets classes in non EM markets and who’s investing and why. Guest Rodica Glavan, Head of EM Corporate Fixed Income at Insight Investment Host Mel Birks, General Manager, Advocacy, AIST
Dec 9, 2020
Episode 35: Back to the Future – a year in review
2020 has been a year like no other with a global health crisis, the continuing saga of Brexit, a US election and an increasingly assertive China. Reflecting on the forces that have impacted the market and economies around the world, Wouter Sturkenboom, Chief Investment Strategist, Europe and Asia with Northern Trust shares his insights on these global forces. He also provides his thoughts on what lies ahead in 2021 for institutional investors in Australia. Guest Wouter Sturkenboom, Chief Investment Strategist, Europe and Asia with Northern Trust Host Mel Birks, General Manager, Advocacy, AIST
Nov 23, 2020
Episode 34: Private Debt in Europe - rewards and risks
The use of private debt is higher in Europe than in other regions of the world but what does this mean for Australian Super fund investors? In this week’s episode Patrick Marshall, Head of Private Debt and CLOs at Federated Hermes, shares his insights on the rewards and risks Australian Institutional investors should be alert to when thinking about investing in European Private Debt. He answers key questions such as why is loan origination so critical? And why is experience in restructuring so important? He also provides his thoughts on how private debt fared in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Guest Patrick Marshall, Head of Private Debt and CLOs at Federated Hermes Host Mel Birks, Head of Advocacy, AIST
Nov 18, 2020
Episode 33: UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The coming years will be crucial for overcoming the impacts of 2020 to ensure that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals remain on track as we approach the target date of 2030. In this week’s podcast, we speak with Guido Moret, Head of sustainability integration, fixed income at Robeco to get his insights into the Sustainable Development Goals, the role that investors play in addressing the goals and the way in which SDGs interact and intertwine with ESG and impact investing approaches. With thanks to Stephen Dennis, Head of Robeco Australia, for his assistance with this episode. Important Information This document is distributed in Australia by Robeco Hong Kong Limited (ARBN 156 512 659) (‘Robeco’) which is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) pursuant to ASIC Class Order 03/1103. Robeco is regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission under the laws of Hong Kong and those laws may differ from Australian laws.
Nov 10, 2020
Episode 32: US Election – Market Insights from the frontline
It’s been just over a week since the US Presidential Election and only days since it became clear Biden will be the next President of the United States. What impact has the tumultuous election had on markets? What sectors are likely to experience tailwinds under the new administration and which ones headwinds? Will the US’s relationship with China change substantially and what role does the new President’s approach to Climate Change play? In this week’s podcast we speak with Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist with Northern Trust, based in Chicago. He shares his insights and predictions for the market and economy and highlights areas super funds and other institutional investors should be alert to. Guest Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist, Northern Trust Host Mel Birks
Oct 28, 2020
Episode 31: Injecting empathy into financial services
What are the benefits of injecting empathy into financial services such as insurance and superannuation? AIA Australia’s Simonie Fox joins us to discuss the impacts that the COVID pandemic has had on people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the ways that super funds and insurers need to be engaging their customers during a critical and stressful time. We cover health and wellbeing impacts, the ways in which AIA are promoting better health outcomes, the role of telehealth and digital consultation, and the ways in which super funds can support members’ mental health during the claims process. Guest Simonie Fox, Head of Shared Value Partnerships, AIA Australia Host Tyrell Mills, AIST
Oct 21, 2020
Episode 30: Investor expectations in the current environment
Today we are looking at investment considerations in a low yield environment. With returns and markets expected to be lower for longer, how should investors be positioning themselves to make the most of a downturn in markets? To help us understand these considerations we speak with Sebastian Mullins, Multi-asset Fund Manager from Schroders. Sebastian covers expectations on returns in the current climate, the larger macroeconomic influences that are affecting returns and growth. Sebastian also gives his thoughts on investing in lower return environments and what his expectations are for the short and medium term. Guest Sebastian Mullins, Multi-asset Fund Manager, Schroders Host Tyrell Mills, Media and Content, AIST
Oct 14, 2020
Episode 29: COVID’s impact on Impact Investing
How has COVID-19 changed the landscape for impact investing? We’re joined by Nuveen Co-Head of Impact, Rekha Unnithan for a discussion on the role that impact can play in shaping a better post-COVID world. We also cover the specific private equity investments that are seeing strong growth in the impact space, and Rekha’s views on the importance for resource efficiency and inclusive growth. Guest Rekha Unnithan, Co-Head of Impact, Nuveen Host Tyrell Mills
Oct 8, 2020
Episode 28: Cash and liquidity (part II)
This week we continue our discussion on cash assets and liquidity strategies with Daniel Gerard, Senior Strategist of Global Markets and Raf Choudhury, Senior Investment Strategist from State Street Global Advisors. This episode takes a particular look at liquidity and solvency issues, as well as how super funds have approached liquidity demands in 2020.
Sep 30, 2020
Episode 27: Cash and liquidity
In this edition of the SuperTalk podcast we join forces with State Street’s Engage podcast to have a chat about cash portfolios with Daniel Gerard, Senior Strategist of Global Markets and Raf Choudhury, Senior Investment Strategist. Throughout the Covid-19 economic crisis there has been a need for liquidity, and it has been interesting to see the ways in which investors have used cash assets to navigate such an uncertain and volatile year. Dan and Raf provide their takes on the short term and log term considerations for cash and liquidity in the current environment. Guests Daniel Gerard, Senior Strategist of Global Markets, State Street Global Advisors Raf Choudhury, Senior Investment Strategist, State Street Global Advisors Host Tyrell Mills, Media and Content, AIST
Sep 23, 2020
Episode 26: Insight on impact
What do we mean when we talk about impact investing? Surprisingly, not everyone is on the same page. Jonathan Dean, Head of Impact Investments at AXA IM joins us to provide an understanding of impact investing that focusses on identifying issues and investing in practical solutions. We also cover the need for global thinking on impact investments, the role that impact will play in post-COVID economic rebuilding and the concept of impact-washing. Guest Jonathan Dean, Head of Impact Investments, AXA IM Host Tyrell Mills, Media and Content, AIST
Sep 20, 2020
Episode 25: Modern slavery reporting
Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 has brought modern slavery risks and reporting into sharper focus for institutional investors. With super funds required to report annually on their risks and exposure to modern slavery, we soke with Hannah Shoesmith to get an insight into how Modern Slavery laws and reporting requirements have been working in the United Kingdom, where a law has been in place since 2015 Guests Hannah Shoesmith, Associate Director, EOS, Federated Hermes, International (UK) Host Tyrell Mills, Media and content, AIST
Sep 17, 2020
Episode 24: Designing end-to-end data needs
With super funds eager to continue improving their data management systems, we sit down with a panel of data experts from J.P. Morgan, HESTA, AustralianSuper and the Accident Compensation Corporation (NZ) to get an insight into how they are building better systems. We cover the data needs for internalising investment teams, communicating with board members, and how data systems have helped funds navigate market volatility in 2020. Plus, we look to the horizon with what key data system considerations will be front of mind in the coming year. Guests Stuart Bain, Investment Operations Manager, Accident Compensation Corporation (NZ) Vicki Martyn, Principal, Data Services, AustralianSuper Stephen Reilly, Chief Operating Officer, HESTA Jane Dauparas, Data Management Product Lead, J.P. Morgan Host Tyrell Mills, Media and content, AIST
Sep 14, 2020
Episode 23: China/US trade update
Trade relations between China and the US have seen further pressure in 2020 with COVID-19 and the approaching US election. Luis Oganes, Managing Director and the Head of Currencies, Commodities and Emerging Markets Research from J.P. Morgan joins us for a discussion on the geopolitical impact to investments from global trade tensions.
Sep 10, 2020
Episode 22: Leadership and culture
We've previously looked at how specific investment assets have fared during 2020, but this week we are looking at how the investment teams themselves have coped with the pressures of the COVID economic crisis. QIC’s Allison Hill and Susan Buckley joins us to discuss the qualities and processes needed to lead investment teams, and how their experiences from the GFC have shaped their approach to navigating the current situation.
Sep 3, 2020
Episode 21: Sustainable real estate
How well are your real estate investment assets generating sustainable outcomes? We spoke with Chris Nunn, Head of sustainability for the real estate business at AMP Capital, to get an insight into how climate change risks are present in real estate assets, as well as an overview of AMP Capital's climate strategy to 2030.
Aug 27, 2020
Episode 20: COVID Super Gap
Retirement system inequity that existed prior to the COVID pandemic has been further impacted in 2020. We sit down with AIST Head of Advocacy, Mel Birks for a deep dive into AIST's pre-Budget submission that lays out the impact of the COVID Super Gap.
Aug 20, 2020
Episode 19: China equities markets
With A-shares becoming more accessible for western investors, Chinese equities are offering diversification and opportunities to access equity growth that is being spurred on by China’s growing middle class. We spoke with Robeco Head of Research, Jie Lu who says the Chinese equity market is now too big to ignore. With thanks to Stephen Dennis, Head of Robeco Australia, for his assistance with this episode. Important Information This document is distributed in Australia by Robeco Hong Kong Limited (‘Robeco’) (ARBN 156 512 659) which is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) pursuant to ASIC Class Order 03/1103. Robeco is regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission under the laws of Hong Kong and those laws may differ from Australian laws. This document is distributed only to “wholesale clients” as that term is defined under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). This document is not for distribution o…
Aug 13, 2020
Episode 18: Foreign currency
Investment specialist Adam Kibble from Insight Investment provides an overview of how foreign currency has performed in 2020. Adam discusses the importance of foreign currency as a diversification asset during periods of equity market weakness, as well as how active management of foreign currency can provide liquidity solutions.
Aug 4, 2020
Episode 17: Agriculture investment
With growing calls form the agriculture industry for greater investment from the superannuation industry, we speak with Westchester CEO, Martin Davies about the opportunities for institutional investors.
Jul 26, 2020
Episode 16: Private equity
A discussion with Schroders' Investment Director of Alternatives, Claire Smith, who provides an update into how private equity investments have been faring, as well as providing an insight into how private equity aligns with superannuation fund investment timeframes.
Jun 9, 2020
Episode 15 (part II): Improving Indigenous adult literacy - part two
Part two of our discussion with Literacy For Life Foundation executive director, Jack Beetson, where he takes questions from AIST staff on topics such as the resistance he encountered early on, creating a safe environment for learning, resiliance and who inspires him to do the work that he does.
Jun 2, 2020
Episode 15: Improving Indigenous adult literacy
Listen to Literacy For Life Foundation executive director, Jack Beetson discuss the work they do, why the model of improving adult literacy in Indigenous communities is so important, and what motivates him to do the work he does.
Mar 31, 2020
Episode 14: Getting the message right: coronavirus communications
As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed, the role of communications has played an enormous role in educating and informing the public. Melissa Adam from NGS Super discusses how super funds are approaching the need for clear communications during the global pandemic to assist their members.
Sep 9, 2019
Episode 13: US property markets
With the GFC a decade behind us, we sit down with J.P Morgan Global Head of Real Estate Client Strategy, Ann Cole, to get the inside word on whether the US presents opportunities for property investing for fund managers. Guest: Ann Cole, Managing director, co-portfolio manager, J.P. Morgan Asset Management Strategic Property Fund (USA) Podcast Host: Gerard Noonan, Chair, Media Super
Sep 5, 2019
Episode 12: How to build a modern investment platform
In order to support investment teams in super funds, better approaches to technology design are needed to ensure efficiency, scale-ability, and data security. We hear from three specialists on the key considerations for how to approach building a modern investing platform in your fund. Guests: Jane Dauparas, Product – data management, securities services, Australia and New Zealand, J.P. Morgan Peta Stevenson, Manager, investment data and analytics, Cbus Felicia Trewin, Group executive, technology services, AustralianSuper Podcast Host: Tyrell Mills, media and content, AIST
Sep 4, 2019
Episode 11: US/China relations at boiling point
Is the US/China trade war just an economic strong-man contest, or will lasting impacts shape the next decade to come? Ron Temple and Dr Stephen Kirchner join us to share their insights on the biggest geopolitical issue of the day, as we look to see what impact the trade war will have on super fund returns. Guests: Ron Temple, Managing Director, Head of US equities, Co-Head of multi asset investing, Lazard Asset Management LLC (USA) Dr Stephen Kirchner, Program director, trade and investment, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney
Aug 28, 2019
Episode 10: Collective investor action
Jun 30, 2019
Episode 9: Global equities, where can you get your alpha?
Europe leads the world in ESG investment practices, but where does Australia sit? Katie Stafford spoke to us about the challenges and opportunities within the ESG space and gave her thoughts on how Australia stacks up in this area.
Jun 18, 2019
Episode 8: Social procurement briefing
There are many different kinds of social enterprises, but what unites them is their goal to fulfil a social purpose. Social Trader’s Principal for Growth Services, Olivia Cozzolino, provides a look into the new opportunities that are springing up from social procurement, and the businesses that are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this space.
Jun 2, 2019
Episode 7: Climate investing
The clear, undeniable impacts of climate change is forcing investors to consider the economic impacts of climate change within their portfolios. State Street’s head of ESG Investments, Rakhi Kumar, takes us through the three pillars of developing strategy for managing climate risk.
May 23, 2019
Episode 6: Workers capital, it's all about the members
Fresh off the stage at CMSF 2019, Larry Beeferman sits down with AIST’s Jeff Wallens to give his take on trust law in Australia.
May 5, 2019
Episode 5: Retirement, it's all about the members
Historically, super funds have focussed their services on the accumulation phase, but there is a big need for the industry to put more thought into what they offer members who are in the retirement phase. Vanguard’s Steve Utkus sits down with AIST Head of Advocacy, Ailsa Goodwin to talk about the challenges of the retirement phase for funds.
Apr 16, 2019
Episode 4: Artificial intelligence, robotics and the future of work
There is a lot of hype surrounding AI, so to help us dispel some of the misinformation, we talk with AI expert Toby Walsh to get an understanding of how AI will be shaping superannuation into the future.
Mar 31, 2019
Episode 3: Global & Australian Markets Outlook
Dr Sally Auld from J.P. Morgan sits down with AIST Education and Training Coordinator Jeff Wallens to chat all things markets and trade: Key influences on Australian markets; Geopolitics from Brexit to China trade moves; and how close are we to a recession?
Mar 25, 2019
Episode 1: Innovation in funds
J.P. Morgan Global Head of Advisory, Samir Shah presented to the Conference of Major Super Funds on Thursday 14 March, 2019. He spoke to SuperTalk about what it takes for superannuation funds to innovate.
Mar 25, 2019
Episode 2: Getting culture right
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck talks to Northern Trust Asset Management President, Shundrawn Thomas about culture, hot on the heels of the Financial Services Royal Commission that put a spotlight on the culture of Australia's banks, insurers and superannuation boards.