Aon Consulting Australia has proposed a solution to help superannuation funds ensure their governance, risk and compliance framework is robust in the wake of increasing regulatory scrutiny and greater pressure from members. Aon’s Governance, Risk & Compliance solution provides superannuation funds of all sizes with a health check of their processes. Aon will assess funds against expectations set by regulators and against industry best practice, providing concrete, practical examples of where they need to improve. Areas requiring attention could include monitoring programs, policy documentation, risk management assessment and the efficiency of the board.
Aon Consulting Principal and Actuary Jenny Dean said, “This solution is a true end-toend consulting offering. It helps funds identify areas in which they need to improve then offers assistance in making those improvements and tools to ensure governance and risk compliance practices are first class. For example, Aon’s technology arm, Aon e-solutions, provides risk management software.”
Ms Dean said the industry has been in a state of flux, with governance processes that were adequate three years ago now needing to be strengthened. “Governance and risk management best practice is constantly evolving,” she said. “Members are also demanding a higher standard of corporate governance following the Global Financial Crisis. They’re now far more aware of their retirement savings and want to make sure they are safeguarded. Superannuation funds impose high standards of governance on the companies they invest in. If you’re imposing those sorts of standards, you have to make sure your own affairs are in order.”
The launch of Aon’s solution coincides with a drive towards greater governance within the industry. In a recent media interview, Pauline Vamos, Chief Executive of The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), commented, “Trustees must look further afield when examining, assessing and managing the risks they face. They have to look at the overall risk environment – not just the market but also what’s happening with their peers, competition, the changing tax landscape, the structural and regulatory landscape and the fact that as an industry, we’re getting bigger. That means a greater focus on us from the government.”
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