by Michael Delaney*
I write and speak on account of your story on MTAA Superannuation Fund of August 11. I’m pleased for the fund and for my good friend Leeanne [Turner] by the award given to her (the FEAL Fund Executive of the Year). Like Leeanne, I do not usually dwell on the past in matters. But I do when it is necessary to see that matters are correctly reported.
I have not since my retirement had anything to say in these things except in the interests of the Fund and its members. So, a comment now is not amiss.
The MTAA Super board, I and my deputy Leeanne were all parties to the great and persistent success of the fund before the GFC and to the address of its difficulties arising from that and from the dissension and disputes amongst the shareholders of the Trustee.
That is, we were all collectively the authors of the high performance and then the resolutions of the matters that beset the Trustee before and after the GFC.
I was not prompted to exit. Indeed, I deferred a long-standing intention to retire in order to see to the resolution of the difficulties from and alongside the GFC. I did so to secure the agreement of APRA and interested parties to the reforms to governance, director membership numbers and structure and Trustee shareholder powers.
On the separation of Association and Trustee, I proposed that in January of 2010 and secured it from the relevant decision-makers and had established it by May 2010. I can add that I first proposed it in 2001 but could not obtain approval from interested parties until 2010. My retirement was at my initiative and timing, if those reforms could be secured.
As the statement written by me and John Brumby and issued on 15 August, 2011 makes clear, those reforms were achieved by us over preceding months and after much consideration by APRA which was a necessity for their achievement.
It was all of those measures which you positively record, in which judgement, I agree, that the statement of August 15, 2011 was advising. They were secured by me and my colleagues and adopted by the Trustee Board after APRA’s consideration.
It was after that achievement that I was able to propose my retirement. They all occurred before that. I gave notice of my retirement in that statement as being three months thereafter. I then retired on November 15, 2011.
Adjustments to investment strategies and asset allocations were well made and operative, well before my retirement. Pleasingly, they were well into effect by the end of 2011. It is also very pleasing that the outcome of that adjustment was clearly manifest by 2012-2014.
Leeanne’s achievement has been to keep the fund stable, on track and successful as it had been for most all-but a brief period for all of its 25 years achieved this year.
That is an accomplishment much deserved and earned by her in enduring and difficult circumstances which we had both long suffered and succeeded against jointly.
* Michael Delaney is Foundation Chief Executive Officer, MTAA Superannuation Fund