The new kid on the block in super fund administration, IRESS, formerly known, in the institutional space mainly for its information software and individual investor services, has picked up another big super fund client. It has just won a competitive tender away from Mercer Outsourcing.
The recent win, of the $2 billion and 80,000-member Guild Super, follows that of ESSS last year. IRESS’s technology appears to be a big part in its success. Mark Puli, the chief executive of ESSSuper (Emergency Services and State Super, a 130,000-member and about $30 billion-Victorian-based fund) said last year that the super industry needed to evolve its transactional functions to be fully automated to further enhance the member experience to provide them with 24/7 access to their funds. IRESS offers what it says is the most automated of super admin systems.
The recent tender was run by consultant QMV, although Guild Super had an active involvement throughout the process. Guild Super, which is a 16-year-old industry fund that grew out of the pharmacy and child-care industries, has the highest proportion of female members of any big fund – 85 per cent.
Guild won an innovation award from Chant West last year because of its ‘SUPERSUPER’ rewards program, which allows members to contribute to retailer discounts directly to their fund accounts, thereby linking contributions to expenditure rather than just earnings. For women, who will often be out of the workforce for several years during their adult lives, this is a big advantage.
Guild has deals with various supermarkets and other retail outlets which allows its members to purchase vouchers that can be used for purchases and shop with hundreds of online retailers. Women still, usually, control the household budget.
Like other funds which have a majority of female members, such as HESTA and Care Super, Guild has a strong connection with ESG practices. It recently restructured its default ‘lifestyle’ products to integrate a higher level of ESG policies and practices.
Greg Everett, the general manager for Guild Trustee Services, said last week that the transition from Mercer to IRESS was likely to be completed by early next year.