AustralianSuper has acknowledged that it was part of the sale of the industry funds-backed publication New Daily for zero return.
AustralianSuper chief executive, Ian Silk told the Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry that his fund had injected $2 million into New Daily alongside another industry fund, Cbus and Industry Super Holdings.
He said that his fund had, however, withdrawn from the New Daily funding when the operators sought further funding and that, as a result, the publication had been wholly acquired by Industry Super Holdings.
Silk explained to the Royal Commission that the injection of funds into New Daily had not been in the form of an investment but, rather, represented a marketing and communications exercise funded out of the fund’s $1.50 per member, member fee.
He said that New Daily was regarded as a means by which AustralianSuper could retain members and was part of a multi-pronged approach to doing so.
Silk acknowledged that while AustralianSuper had provided no further funding to New Daily the fund was one of a number of shareholders in Industry Super Holdings which is now the owner of the publication.