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Former finance, deregulation minister to chair investment group

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Pacific Infrastructure Partners, the company which secured key superannuation entities from embattled fintech Sargon Capital, has rolled out a number of senior appointments, including the pick of a former federal minister as its new chairman.

Lindsay Tanner

The company, a new entity formed for the purpose of investing in technology-enabled financial services, has picked its new chair, chief executive and board director after completing the purchase of Diversa Trustees, CSSL Limited and Tidswell Financial Services from Sargon.

Lindsay Tanner, a former federal minister for finance and deregulation and Suncorp non-executive director has been appointed chair of the new company, bringing a reported 35 years’ experience in senior levels of government and business. 

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Marcus Price, who has been acting as a strategic adviser to Pacific Infrastructure Partners (PIP), will meanwhile become the group’s chief executive and managing director, as well as a founding shareholder.

Mr Price was CEO of digital property exchange business PEXA until December, which sold to Link Group for $1.6 billion in 2018. 

Finally, FlexiPlan founder and ex-CEO Sue Thomas has also joined the board as an independent non-executive director. 

Ms Thomas has also held senior directorships with a number of companies including BT Financial Group.

Current PIP chairman and Cloverhill managing partner Teddy Wasserman said to have secured all three appointments is a “genuine coup”. 

“In combination, they bring all the desired skills and experience to help us drive all our ambitions to innovate and be a genuine leader in the arenas in which we compete,” Mr Wasserman said. 

PIP has also indicated plans to rebrand to Certes Corporation, pending final approvals, naming itself after a word derived from Latin meaning truth, assurance and certainty. 

Once the rebrand is complete, the Sargon name will no longer be used.

“The new brand Certes speaks to our commitment to our customers, regulators and employees after a period of uncertainty within the business,” Mr Price said. 

“With the support of our shareholders, we now enjoy a very strong balance sheet that provides confidence, as well as a platform to continue to innovate our products. We go forward with a renewed sense of purpose and revitalised growth aspirations.”

The company has $50 billion in assets under trusteeship and supervision on its platforms. 

‘Industry does poorly in member advocacy… we need to redress that’

Mr Tanner commented the superannuation sector is facing challenges amid the pandemic, but it is clear that “new entrants and associated investment can drive innovation and reform to improve efficiency governance and accountability”. 

“With a new board, executive team and strengthened balance sheet, we will be a responsible and trusted partner and service provider,” he said. 

“Across superannuation and asset management, higher standards of governance and conduct are required of all those charged with stewardship of financial assets. Our board is committed to delivering on this as part of our purpose and to continue being a leader in technology that lowers costs and raises the bar for transparency.”

Mr Price said as incoming CEO, his immediate priority is restoring confidence in the company after a difficult period, while preserving and enhancing the culture of technology and product innovation. 

“We retain the conviction in investment in technology and a focus on innovation can drive efficiency and improve service levels and customer experience,” he said. 

“It is noteworthy that collectively, the industry does poorly in member advocacy as measured by net promoter scores, even compared to retail banking. We need to redress that and we need to be a driving force behind creating a better industry.”

Ms Thomas commented likewise, that the company is passionate about “lifting the bar” within its business and industry. 

“There are few industries as important to both the economy and the wellbeing of every citizen,” she said.

“As a new guard, we are committed to working closely with all regulators, including those of APRA and ASIC, to ensure confidence is maintained and strengthened in our operations.”

 

Former finance, deregulation minister to chair investment group
Lindsay Tanner
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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth. 

Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio. 

You can contact her on [email protected].

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