Australian Super sells down its stake in Industry Super Holdings

Australian Super cuts its stake in infrastructure investor ISH.

Australian Super cuts its stake in infrastructure investor ISH. Photo: Getty

Australian Super has sold down its shareholding in Industry Super Holdings and ME Bank to 20 per cent from 32 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.  

Despite the move it remains the biggest shareholder in both companies. The sale was driven by  the group’s recent moves to take more of its investment functions in-house and a need to rebalance its holdings to reflect the changing nature of the superannuation sector.

Australian Super chief investment officer and deputy CEO, Mark Delaney, said in July that around $26 billion, or about 22 per cent of the Australian Super’s assets, were now managed internally and he expected this to increase in coming years. The group’s internal team was outperforming external managers by about $100 million annually and should deliver further cost savings to members, he said.

“The diversified nature of our balanced option has allowed us to manage market ups and downs over the long term. It’s the breadth of the asset classes that we invest in and our active management of these investments that helps create sustainable long-term returns for members,” Mr Delaney told The New Daily on Wednesday.

The rebalancing was also a result of a number of fund mergers, which had seen Australian Super owning significantly more of ISH than any of the other major ISH shareholder funds. Australian Super sold down its stake to other funds wanting to increase their exposures to ISH.

“AustralianSuper has rebalanced its shareholding in ME and Industry Super Holdings to better reflect the changed nature of the superannuation sector while reinforcing its commitment and support for the two organisations,” Mr Delaney said 

“Australian Super remains a committed investor in ME and ISH as joint-owners of key infrastructure assets in Australia and across the globe. The Fund will continue to actively manage its portfolio of assets in the best interest of its 2.2 million members,” Mr Delaney said.  

Industry Super Holdings Pty Ltd provides a range of services to the industry super fund movement including research, policy development, advocacy and marketing services and manages equity and debt portfolios.

It is the parent company of IFM Investors, which holds $92 billion in global assets for 28 pension funds, focusing in infrastructure, debt. listed equities and private equity. Its funds under management grow 33 per cent in the June year.

ME bank is a member owned lender and deposit taker that emerged from the industry funds movement.

ISH shareholders include Australian Super, Cbus,Hesta Hostplus, MTAA Super, Care Super, LUCRF Super, NGS Super, Media Super, TWU Super, AustSafe Super, Energy Super, First Super, Legal Super and REI Super.

Australian Super is Australia’s largest super fund with $120 billion in assets under management and 2.2 million members. It returned investors in its balanced fund 12.44 per cent for the year to June 30 2017, an above average return for super funds.

*The New Daily is owned by Industry Super Holdings

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