Bernie Ripoll joins SMSF Association board

A Parliamentary Secretary in the former Gillard Labor Government, the Hon. Bernie Ripoll, is joining the SMSF Association board, effective immediately.

Ripoll, who joined the Association’s Public Policy Committee in January 2018, will replace Cath Mulcare, who is stepping down after being a director since June 2015.

Association chair Dr Deborah Ralston, who made both announcements at yesterday’s board meeting, also foreshadowed that there would be additional board appointments made soon following a call for expressions of interest from members. “We have been delighted with the quality of the candidates.”

Regarding Ripoll’s appointment, she says it’s gratifying that someone of his calibre has agreed to join the board. “His knowledge and insights from the broader advice and superannuation sectors have made a valuable contribution to our discussions. I am certain the skills, relationships and experiences he brings to the table will prove invaluable as superannuation and financial services policy continues to evolve.”

Ripoll says: “I am delighted to have been asked to join the board. I have always had a deep interest in superannuation and financial services, which is why I took the opportunity to serve on the Public Policy Committee, and now look forward to having a bigger role in the Association by being a board member.”

Ralston also paid tribute to Mulcare’s contribution as a director, especially her work around regulatory affairs, governance and risk management. “Cath’s knowledge and experience in these critical areas gave the Association a vital resource on which it could draw at the very time it was needed.”

Mulcare says: “It’s been a privilege to serve on the Association’s board. It has a genuine commitment to professionalism, understanding that cultivating the highest possible ethical and educational standards for its advisor members is the best way to serve the 1.1 million people who opt to take control of their own retirement income strategies.”

In other developments, the SMSF Association Board:
• Reviewed and agreed in principle to the strategic plan for 2019 to 2024, subject to minor refinements and sign off in June;
• Reviewed recent activities including another successful national conference in February with more than 1600 attendees;
• Considered possible implications from the Financial Services Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission review into superannuation;
• Met with Stephen Glenfield, CEO of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to discuss its education, training and ethics requirements and the possibility of including specialist education requirements for those providing advice to SMSFs;
• Reviewed and approved a new Board committee governance structure and charter.