More mergers ahead

By Elizabeth Fry

Incoming CareSuper chief executive Michael Dundon says consolidation will continue as the industry becomes more competitive and stapling starts to have an impact on fund inflows.

"The industry continues to consolidate with a recent spate of mergers driven by the introduction of the performance test with all but a couple of funds that failed the test completing mergers or announcing they are in talks," he says.

"With consolidation, many funds are challenged by the need to maintain a focus on business-as-usual activities whilst also negotiating and planning a merger."

In March, the former VicSuper head will take the helm of CareSuper replacing Julie Lander who announced that she would leave the company after 20 years at the helm.

That was in August - just moments before the fund flagged a merger with Spirit Super to create a fund worth $45 billion.

Aside from having an unmatched knowledge of the superannuation sector, Dundon has an invaluable skill set and experience with mergers.

"I'm delighted to be appointed as chief executive of Care Super and am looking forward to leading the team as we approach a merger with Spirit Super," he adds.

"My experience at Aware Super has shown that there is a range of benefits to funds merging, including the obvious scale benefits but also opportunities to broaden investment strategies and develop unique offers for member segments such as retirement and opportunities for staff to grow their careers."

Dundon led VicSuper before it merged with First State Super to create Aware Super and stayed on afterwards as an executive consultant to work with the merger team.

"We were very conscious that you needed an alignment of values and the objectives of the membership to get a new, collegiate organisation," he said on completion of the merger in 2021.

"If you've got really clear alignment around the culture, the values and the strategy between two funds, that makes the conversations around the more difficult issues like senior leadership positions, board composition, administration platforms, investment models, they are easier," Dundon said.

Dundon previously served as chief executive of ESSSuper after being promoted from finance chief.