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First State Super, WA Super in merger talks

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

First State Super and WA Super have announced they are in merger talks in a move that could radically alter the country’s superannuation landscape.

The two funds have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter due diligence, with the process expected to be completed midyear. WA Super manages around $4 billion for 55,000 members, while First State Super has around $90 billion in FUM and over 800,000 members. 

“The two organisations share a real cultural and value alignment and an absolute commitment to putting our members first,” said First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart.

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“This merger will assist in continuing to build size and scale for the benefit of our members. These benefits include access to a more diverse pool of global investments and lower fees for members, not just investment fees, but also administration and trustee fees, which will ultimately deliver a better outcome to our members.”

First State Super and its financial planning business StatePlus have had a presence in Western Australia for many years, supporting 8,000 members and clients in the state. The merged fund would have around 60,000 members in the state. 

“First State Super is a growing national brand and already has a footprint in [Western Australia],” said WA Super CEO Fabian Ross.

“They understand the geography spread and are committed to continuing existing services, whilst looking to enhance local services, where possible. We are now looking forward to a comprehensive due diligence process that will help us to determine if this partnership will be in our members’ best interest and expect it to be finalised by midyear.’”

WA Super was previously in talks to merge with Statewide Super and Tasplan Super, but that deal collapsed in mid-2019. First State Super is also set to merge with VicSuper on 1 July 2020, creating a $125 billion fund. A spokesperson for First State Super told Investor Daily that the WA Super merger will not impact that deal. 

The announcement comes as QSuper and Sunsuper also sign a memorandum of understanding to enter due diligence ahead of a possible merger.

 

First State Super, WA Super in merger talks
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