Industry Super Australia (ISA) received a total of $5.5 million from AustralianSuper in the year that industry superannuation funds actioned the so-called ‘fox in the henhouse’ advertising campaign.
The amount of funding provided by AustralianSuper was revealed by the fund’s chief executive, Ian Silk, during questioning at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
The Royal Commission heard that ISA levied superannuation funds $500,000 each towards the funding of the ‘fox in the henhouse’ advertisement attacking bank-owned superannuation funds, but in the case of AustralianSuper this was on top of $5 million already paid to ISA.
Counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Michael Hodge QC also noted that Silk sat on the board of ISA.
Asked by Hodge whether the $500,000 paid for the advertisement was additional to or separate from $5 million [already paid], Silk said it was.
Hodge commented that this meant it was then “effectively an increase by one eleventh of the contribution to the ISA”.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne later raised questions about the validity of the advertising spending by AustralianSuper, and while cautioning that he was not stating a position said it raised questions about member best interests and the sole purpose test.