SMSF Association appoints a new CEO

The SMSF Association is pleased to announce that John Maroney has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective from May 2017.

He succeeds Andrea Slattery, who has been the sole CEO since the Association was established in 2003, and, more recently, Managing Director.

Slattery has decided to step down in order to explore opportunities to further her professional career as a non-executive Director. She currently has a number of directorships, including but not limited to an ASX-listed company, with the aim of building her portfolio of Board Directorships, as well as senior advisory roles. She will remain a non-executive Director of the Association.

Slattery says: “The Association is recognised as the pre-eminent organisation in the SMSF community by government, regulators, educators and the industry – a tribute to our hard work over the past 14 years.

“Both the growth of our superannuation sector, its leadership in advocating dignified retirement and national prosperity as well as its integrity, are testimony to what has been achieved, making this an ideal time to pass the baton to John for the next growth phase for the SMSF sector and the Association.”

Maroney, who is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute and has a Bachelor of Arts (Actuarial Studies) from Macquarie University, is Head of Capital and Solvency at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), based in Basel, Switzerland. He brings diverse experience as a senior executive to the role, having worked as the Australian Government Actuary, in the private sector (including building his own financial services consultancy), and industry and professional associations in Australia and overseas.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Association Chairman Andrew Gale says: “John is the ideal person for the position. As CEO of the Actuaries Institute (2006-09), he played a significant leadership and advocacy role, with a particular focus on lifting educational standards and building the profession, as well as driving membership growth and developing partnerships with universities.

“He was also Executive Director of the Life Investment and Superannuation Association (LISA), which was the primary predecessor organisation to the Financial Services Council, and so has highly relevant industry association experience.

“He also has an excellent track record in building formal and informal relationships, with his current role at IAIS requiring him to deal with most global insurance regulators and many of the largest globally active insurers. When coupled with his work at the Actuaries Institute and LISA, it means he has strong advocacy and leadership skills that the Association needs for its ongoing dealings with government and regulators, particularly as we develop the drawdown and retirement phase of the superannuation system.”

Gale says John is aware that he is stepping into very large shoes as Andrea has been the driving force behind the Association for the past 14 years.

“The Association and its members, SMSF trustees, the self-managed super fund sector and the superannuation industry all owe Andrea a great debt of gratitude for her tireless work over the years.

“She has brought commitment, enthusiasm, experience and knowledge to the task, and can look back with enormous pride on an enviable record in terms of what she has achieved for the SMSF sector. With this legacy, the Board is delighted that Andrea is continuing as a non-executive Director.

Maroney says: “I am excited to join the Association. Under Andrea’s leadership, it has attracted a deserved reputation for its leadership role in the SMSF and financial services sectors, whether it be policy advocacy work, lifting educational standards or building a new profession. I have always been passionate about Australia’s superannuation and retirement income system and this position gives me the opportunity to focus on issues and concerns of millions of Australians.

“Having worked for several not-for-profit member organisations, I appreciate the need to diligently serve the membership, as well as appreciate the importance of industry integrity issues.  I will continue to build on the strong foundations Andrea has established in both areas.

“I also bring my knowledge of the small business sector, having established a consultancy in the financial services space. I am aware of many of the issues our members face, and I look forward to engaging with specialists and trustees in the most dynamic superannuation sector.”

Slattery says that working for the Association has been a privilege and an honour.  “In 2003, when the Association was established, there were 262,000 funds and funds under management (FUM) were $109 billion. Today, it is the largest superannuation sector in terms of FUM ($636 billion), has about 1.1 million members and boasts more than 581,000 funds.

“The Association has grown in parallel with the SMSF sector, nurturing the emergence of the SMSF specialist to service the 1.1 million members across a wide range of professional services relevant to superannuation.

“It’s a legacy in which I take great pride, acknowledging it has only been possible to achieve this in partnership with the Association’s Board, its members and my wonderful team and industry volunteers.

“Finally, I would like to put on record my genuine appreciation of the many government ministers, shadow ministers, public servants, regulators, industry peers and stakeholder communities I have worked with over the journey.

“They have always been receptive to our advocacy, policy and regulatory initiatives and solutions, understanding that the SMSF sector plays a critical role in helping Australians have a secure and dignified retirement as well as an important part in our national prosperity.”