First State Super and WA Super are set to consolidate, with their merger expected to be finalised by the end of November.
The merger is set to take place after First State Super completed its amalgamation with VicSuper earlier in July, making it Australia’s second largest industry super fund, with more than $125 billion in funds under management on behalf of 1.1 million members.
The merged WA Super and First State Super fund are set to be rebranded to Aware Super, as the VicSuper fund retains its name for the time being.
First State Super chief executive Deanne Stewart commented her fund will look to strengthen its services and support in WA as a result of the deal, building on its previous presence in the state.
The merged fund will have close to 60,000 members in WA.
“Following the merger, we will have additional representatives of our telephone-based member service centre based in WA,” Ms Stewart said.
“This means, our members in the west will be able to contact us throughout full business hours, while our members nationally will benefit from extended hours of support.
“Over the coming years we will be focused on increasing our presence in Western Australia and cementing our position as a truly national fund.”
She added both fund’s members will benefit from the boosted scale in the long term.
“The recent market volatility and economic downturn have clearly demonstrated why we believe that size and scale matters,” Ms Stewart said.
“As Australia’s second-largest industry fund, we can invest in ways that others can’t and this has enabled us to deliver a positive return for our members, despite the current challenging market conditions.”
WA Super CEO Fabian Ross commented his fund had been “proactively seeking growth opportunities for a while”, understanding that size and scale are important to maintain sustainability.
“If we don’t merge it will be more difficult for us to continue to offer the current level of services and members will be required to pay higher fees at some stage,” Mr Ross said.
“We do not believe this would be in our members’ best interest in the long-term, which is why a merger with First State Super is the right step to take, with the right culturally aligned partner.”
The two funds had entered a due diligence process in March.
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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