(Pictured: Warren Chant)
The super fund awards business seems to deliver as much intrigue as the industry as a whole. In the latest twist, one of the two new fund awards organisers, research firm Chant West, announced Friday it had split from its partner, Conexus Financial, for next year’s awards.
Principals Warren Chant and Andrea West wrote to fund executives and issued a press release on Friday, saying the awards program would continue in the absence of former partner Conexus.
The press release said: “It will be business as usual for us … Conexus have advised us that they don’t want to continue our partnership into next year. We were somewhat surprised and disappointed, especially as the first two years have been so successful, but we respect their right to do their own thing. It just means there is more work for us in organising the event.
“The awards are our way of recognising excellence in the industry. By highlighting what the best funds do now, and what they plan to do in the future, we contribute to raising standards all round. Ultimately, that has to be good for the industry and for fund members as a whole.
“The feedback we’ve had since our first awards in 2013 has been overwhelmingly positive, because I think the industry respects our opinions and the way we conduct our research. The awards events have been great fun and great celebrations, and I’m sure next year’s will be just as enjoyable.”
The news followed an interesting spat between the long-time awards group for super funds, SuperRatings, and the more recent newcomer, publisher Super Review. As previously reported, Super Review announced its own awards, planned for September 17 in Melbourne, and included SuperRatings as a supporter. This was news to SuperRatings who demanded all references be removed from the Super Review marketing materials. The awards went ahead with boutique advisory firm Heron Partnership as supporter.
The SuperRatings awards, held with associate Lonsec, will be announced at a dinner in Sydney on October 14, after the firm’s annual conference ‘Day of Confrontation’. The dinner is already sold out at 350 attendees, but there are a few vacancies left for the conference, SuperRatings said last week.
Interestingly, Conexus was the media partner for the SuperRatings Awards until after the 10th anniversary awards in 2012. Conexus withdrew because of dissatisfaction with its representation at the event and went on to help establish and organise the rival awards with Chant West in 2013.
Conexus will host its own event on May 20 in Sydney, with details to come, while Chant West said that it would be providing full details of its awards function in due course.