Aware Super hires head of corporate development

Craig Stevens
Aware Super - Head of corporate development
Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd
Date: 30 April 2024
Position: Head of strategic growth and performance
Aware Super
Date: 15 May 2024
Position: Head of corporate development
By Jamie Williamson

The $175 billion superannuation fund welcomed its first head of corporate development as it looks to be a "merger partner of choice" in the industry.

Craig Stevens joined Aware Super this week in the role, coming across from Vanguard Australia where he was head of strategic growth and performance. While there, he worked on its Personal Investor division, including Vanguard Super.

Stevens brings extensive experience in the superannuation space, and with mergers, having previously been chief executive of AustSafe Super for nearly 13 years. AustSafe merged with Sunsuper in 2019 and Stevens served as the merged fund's head of strategy and corporate development for about a year thereafter.

In the newly created role, Stevens reports to group executive, member growth Steve Travis and is responsible for positioning Aware Super as "the merger partner of choice" for the super industry. Aware said this is to be done through the identification of merger and acquisition opportunities and execution of the fund's inorganic growth strategy.

"Aware Super is uniquely positioned to be a merger partner of choice in the nation's superannuation industry. We are the nation's largest digital-first super fund, using our scale to drive down fees, build top-tier retirement savings, and deliver long-term sustainable retirement incomes for our 1.1 million members," Travis said.

"Throughout his stellar career, Craig has been at the forefront of the rapidly evolving super industry and is uniquely positioned to understand the inherent strengths that Aware Super will bring to any future partnership.

"We're thrilled to welcome Craig into this new role, which will set new benchmarks for the industry to follow through our leading administration system which is reimagining retirement in this country for all Australians."

For his part, Stevens said: "Within the Australian super landscape, Aware Super's leading and innovative digital administration platform is the envy of the industry as it can seamlessly integrate new merger partners and offer bespoke member experiences."

"This, coupled with their award-winning investment performance and innovative product offerings including their insurance and MySuper Lifecycle product, make them a compelling market proposition.

"I look forward to shaping the industry's conversation around Aware Super's unique value proposition and its ability to deliver exceptional experiences for its members."

In addition to executive roles, Stevens also previously served on the board of Gardior and SuperFriend and was a member of the executive committee of Industry Funds Forum which merged with Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) in 2018. AIST has since merged with Industry Super Australia to create Super Members Council.