AvSuper and Australian Retirement Trust (ART) have agreed to investigate a merger, with the two funds signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to kick-off a due diligence period.
An MoU had been inked between AvSuper and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in May last year to determine whether a merger would be in the best interests of their members.
However, in a statement issued on Wednesday, these two funds determined that their intended merger presented too many complexities and confirmed that they would not be proceeding.
As a result, AvSuper confirmed in a separate statement on Wednesday that it has now signed an MoU with ART, which it described as an “interested and strong candidate”.
“The reasons for our original decision to initiate the EOI process remain and a merger continues to be a necessary step forward in members’ best interests. As an immediate next step, we reviewed our shortlisted funds from the initial EOI process,” AvSuper said on Wednesday.
ART was formed from the merger of Sunsuper with QSuper, which was finalised in February last year, and ranks as one of Australia’s largest super funds with over 2.2 million members and more than $240 billion in funds under management.
“Along with being one of the largest super funds in Australia, ART has a strong history of serving the public sector and has extensive defined benefit experience and capability. We are confident that this merger will be favourable to our members in the short and long term,” said AvSuper.
The super fund noted that it was committed to being transparent throughout this process and pledged to keep its members updated on its progress.
In its own statement, ART explained that with AvSuper, it will now begin “a comprehensive due diligence process, and any potential merger will only progress if both funds determine that doing so would be in each of their members’ best interests”.
“In the meantime, our focus remains on providing the best possible retirement outcomes for our more than 2.2 million members across Australia,” it added.