Australia's biggest super fund set for massive change

AustralianSuper chief executive Ian Silk has announced that he is stepping down after 15 years at the helm of Australia's largest superannuation fund.

When Mr Silk came on board the fund had $21 billion in member assets, which he built to $225 billion under management while doubling the membership to over 2.4 million members.

AustralianSuper chair Dr Don Russell praised Mr Silk's performance for the fund, but also as a leader in the broader superannuation sector.

“The AustralianSuper board wishes to express our deep appreciation for the leadership and integrity that Ian has consistently displayed throughout his tenure and in building an organisational culture that always puts the long-term financial interest of members first,” Dr Russell said.

“Under Ian’s leadership the fund has always been ambitious for members and this has played a vital role in ensuring AustralianSuper has been able to use its size and scale to be the number one performing fund across multiple time periods. The fund has no other objective than to work in assisting members to achieve their best financial position in retirement.”

Mr Silk said knowing the positive impact for millions of members from achieving consistent top performance was the highlight of his career.

Mr Silk also said leading AustralianSuper as it grew from an organisation of around 50 to more than 1000 colleagues, with offices in London, New York and Beijing, while maintaining a members first culture was also something that he was personally proud of.

“It has been an amazing privilege to work with my colleagues across the fund to deliver the best possible financial returns for the more than 2.4 million members who trust us with their retirement savings. I look back with huge pride on what the team at AustralianSuper has achieved," he said.

AustralianSuper's chief risk officer Paul Schroder will take over as chief executive once Mr Silk's term ends later this year.

Mr Silk was a key voice defending industry super funds, which are run solely to profit members, from attacks by for-profit funds and elements of the Liberal Party.

Do you think Ian Silk's voice will be missed when defending industry super funds from attacks from the government?

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