Rice Warner, Deloitte and David Bell were the consultants used by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in developing its superannuation heat maps, but none of them were determinative in the outcome.
APRA discreetly named the consultants on its website after a fortnight earlier refusing to do so before a Parliamentary committee but, in doing so, the regulator took responsibility for its actions and made clear the limited role played by the consultants.
The descriptions with respect to both Deloitte and Rice Warner made very clear that no formal opinion or report was provided by either consultant, while with respect to Bell it said that he had reviewed and provided observations and suggestions.
The following represents APRA’s description of the role played by the consultants, with Money Management having been told that both the consultants and the regulator had been subject to mutual non-disclosure agreements.
“APRA regularly engages with external specialists to assist with specific projects such as the development of the heatmap and its superannuation data transformation program.
The following consultants were engaged to assist with the initial development of the heatmap:
- David Bell – APRA engaged David Bell in a consulting-style capacity during the development of the MySuper Product Heatmap. In this capacity David reviewed and provided observations and suggestions on APRA’s proposed heatmap metrics relating to investment performance.
- Deloitte – APRA retained Deloitte in the early stages of the MySuper Product Heatmap development through a short term consulting engagement. In this engagement Deloitte reviewed and provided summary observations on APRA’s initial proposed metrics and high level methodology used in two areas – specifically investment performance and fees and costs.
- No formal opinion or report was provided by Deloitte to APRA. Deloitte provided observations to APRA for the purpose of informing APRA’s further work on the heatmap. Deloitte was not engaged and did not review the final versions of the MySuper Product Heatmap metrics, methodology or reporting as launched by APRA.
- Rice Warner – APRA retained Rice Warner in the MySuper Product Heatmap development through a short term consulting engagement. In this engagement Rice Warner reviewed and provided summary observations and feedback on APRA’s proposed metrics and high level methodology. Rice Warner also reviewed draft calculations of the metrics in the heatmap and provided observations on the application of the methodology and on the interpretation of the data used as inputs to the methodology.
- No formal opinion or report was provided by Rice Warner to APRA. Rice Warner provided observations and feedback to APRA for the purpose of informing APRA’s further work on the Heatmap.
Rice Warner also assisted APRA in finalising the metrics but did not review the final version of the MySuper Product Heatmap metrics, methodology or reporting as launched by APRA.”