BUSSQ takes top honours in good start to the year

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(pictured: Jeff Bresnahan) 

David O’Sullivan has set himself a high bar to beat in his upcoming role as CIO of BUSSQ, the Queensland building industry fund. BUSSQ was the top-performing super fund over the past 12 months.

O’Sullivan, who has been both chief executive and CIO of BUSSQ for the past 11 years, is set to become CIO-only in October, when the current chief operating officer, Linda Vickers, becomes CEO. The $3 billion fund has advertised for a new COO as part of the planned succession moves.

The latest SuperRatings performance numbers for big funds – both not-for-profit and retail – show the not-for-profits taking out all top 10 spots in the 12 months to July 31, notwithstanding a share market recovery during the month. Retail funds tend to perform better when markets rally because they have a higher proportion of their assets in the listed asset classes.

Jeff Bresnahan, SuperRatings chair, said investors should remain hopeful of a better year ahead, compared with the tumultuous year just gone, but they should also “keep their wits about them”.

He said: “Many of the risks that have weighed on markets in recent months are still in play, even with Brexit behind us. The unexpected RBA decision earlier this month was a timely reminder that things are still very shaky.”

The RBA’s decision to cut the cash rate to a record low of 1.50 per cent came as a surprise to the market, but did little to curb the Australian dollar, which rose above US $0.77 mark in mid-August. While low rates are providing accommodation to financial markets, the impact on pension funds may not be so positive.

Bresnahan said: “We are still concerned about the impact lower rates will have on pension fund returns… Equity markets have benefited from ultra-loose monetary policy, but it’s savers who ultimately bear the cost. This is something that monetary authorities have not paid a lot of attention to, and it could have a detrimental impact on retirement outcomes.”

The top 10 performing funds, ranked by their balanced options in SuperRatings’ categories, were:

  1. BUSSQ Premium Choice – balanced growth: 7.0 per cent
  2. Catholic Super – balanced: 6.4 per cent
  3. UniSuper Accumulation (1) – balanced: 6.1 per cent
  4. MTAA Super – MyAuto Super: 5.9 per cent
  5. Cbus – Growth: 5.9 per cent
  6. HOSTPLUS – balanced: 5.6 per cent
  7. REI Super – balanced: 5.5 per cent
  8. Energy Super – balanced: 5.3 per cent
  9. AMIST Super – balanced: 4.9 per cent
  10. Care Super – balanced: 4.6 per cent.
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