Inquiry into ASX ownership 'pointless': ASFA

A superannuation association has hit back at the Parliamentary committee inquiry into the implications of common ownership by institutional funds by calling it an “act of political theatre”.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (AFSA) said the committee was going to probe capital concentration which was the very outcome the Government’s Your Future, Your Super policies had sought to drive.

ASFA noted that while super funds generated a median return of 18% for their members and recapitalised Australian business, funds and therefore fund members were going to be “lumbered with the costs of replying to endless questions on notice and preparing for seemingly pointless committee hearings”.

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ASFA chief executive, Dr Martin Fahy, said: “as investors acting in the best financial interests of their members, superannuation funds are proactive in holding corporate Australia to account and in ensuring strong and effective governance.

“…this inquiry flies in the face of the international experience and appears to advocate for a bygone era in which executives were free to run the firm in their interests rather than in the wider stakeholder interests of customers, employees, and indeed the superannuants that are invested in them.

"The last 18 months has shown Australian superannuation funds to be highly capable in calling out inefficiency and shareholder value destruction.

“It would be a more efficient use of the parliament’s time to explore the regulatory impact on consumers and funds from continuous tinkering to the system and whether this constant change has created regulatory arbitrage with other parts of the system.”

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