The top priority for Australian Catholic Superannuation & Retirement Fund chief executive Greg Cantor in 2017 is optimising his fund’s use of technology and data to better connect with members.
The fund made significant headway in 2016 with the implementation of new back-office systems. Now, Cantor just hopes the government doesn’t announce any new changes that diminish public trust in super, running counter to efforts to improve member engagement.
The $7.5 billion faith-based super fund is a finalist in the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017 in the category for Innovation and Transformation.
Throughout January, Investment Magazine will feature Q&As with all the finalists.
Here, Cantor outlines the transformation underway at Australian Catholic Super.
IM: What was the biggest development at Australian Catholic Super in 2016?
DC: The introduction of an innovation program was a heavy focus. This incorporated a restructure of our financial planning service, the integration of our phone system into the CRM platform, further straight-through-processing enhancements to the administration platform and, finally, the introduction of our new retirement product, RetireSmart.
What do you expect to be your biggest area of focus in 2017?
While we will continue to focus on innovation in new products and services, we developed a digital strategy in 2016 and its implementation will be a major focus in the year ahead.
The primary objective is to deliver frictionless, best-practice customer experiences that will drive advocacy and increase member satisfaction.
As a member-centric organisation, it is critical that [we engage in best-practice data management] as well.
What do you consider the most important measure of success for the fund?
Customer advocacy, customer satisfaction and member retention are always critical measures of success. We are thankful to have once again ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction; however, as demonstrated with our innovation program and digital transformation project, we are continually looking for ways to improve our service offering.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
Member engagement is a compelling challenge, especially at a time when there is so much government intervention and legislative change. We take our role seriously in empowering our members to have a dignified retirement. Improving their financial literacy to allow them to confidently take the actions necessary to achieve this goal can’t happen without engagement.
In saying this, the government is not making it easy for members to have faith in the system.
The government may think that endless inquiries and changes to adequacy provisions are required [for faith in the system] but we understand that, paradoxically, this is turning people away from super. Our members tell us that they trust us but they can’t trust either of the two major political parties.
The public wants certainty, not changes every year.
The winners of the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017 will be unveiled at a black-tie event at the Ivy, Sydney, on March 9, supported by Vanguard and AIA Australia. You can purchase single tickets or tables for 10 by visiting the event website. The Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards proudly support The Wayside Chapel.