After 14 years as the CEO of First State Super, I have decided the time is right to retire from executive life and move on to the next chapter of my life.
Who is Michael?
My wife and I have six beautiful grandchildren now and I am looking forward to spending more time with them and my family. Perhaps I’ll do some of the things that I have not been able to do while I’ve been CEO.
My time at First State Super has been enormously rewarding and I am proud of the fund’s strong current position and prospects for the future.
When I joined in 2004, we had 450,000 members and $9 billion under management. Today, combined, we have around 800,000 members and clients, and over $90 billion under management.
Together with our directors, my team and I have achieved many major milestones over the past 14 years, including becoming a public offer fund (which anyone can join) in 2006, merging with Victorian-based Health Super in 2011 and acquiring financial planning company StatePlus in 2016.
I am proud of the work we have done in partnership with industry, unions and governments to support economic growth, and to create new jobs and new opportunities in regional and metropolitan communities around Australia.
The establishment and expansion of our financial advice services is one of the defining achievements of my time at First State Super. Traditionally, the role of super funds has been to help members accumulate wealth for a comfortable retirement. But today, our role is as much about helping members manage their wealth as it is about accumulating it. This is why financial advice is so important. The right advice at the right time can make a huge difference to the future lifestyles of our members.
My successor as the CEO of First State Super is Deanne Stewart, previously CEO of Metlife’s Australian life insurance business. Deanne has the attributes, skills, experience, and most importantly, the personal values that are critical for this role. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is the right person to lead First State Super and continue the excellent work of our board, executive and staff.
I would like to personally thank you, our members, for your support. Our members are those who care for our communities: the nurses, midwives, teachers, police, firefighters, paramedics and many others who dedicate their lives to work that helps and supports others.
Our members are at the heart of every business decision we make and I am proud to have helped establish a workplace culture at First State Super that very genuinely puts members first.