30/07/2020 - 15:49

WA Super, First State confirm merger

30/07/2020 - 15:49

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Western Australia's largest non-government superannuation fund has confirmed it will merge with Sydney-based First State Super later this year.

WA Super, First State confirm merger
Fabian Ross says the two super fund managers are culturally aligned. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Western Australia's largest non-government superannuation fund has confirmed it will merge with Sydney-based First State Super later this year.

It comes after another big WA super fund, Westscheme, merged with Australian Super. 

Today's announcement follows a memorandum of understanding signed in March to evaluate the benefits of the combined WA Super-First State group, which is set to hold $129 billion in assets.

First State is currently Australia’s second-largest industry super fund, with $125 billion in funds under management after having combined its assets with VicSuper earlier this month.

The merged fund with WA Super, which holds $4 billion in assets, will be known as Aware Super and will have 60,000 members in Western Australia.

The deal is expected to complete by November 30.

WA Super chief executive Fabian Ross said the company understood size and scale was important, and had sought growth opportunities for some time.

"First State Super's government heritage reflects WA Super's, and we share a deep understanding of the importance of supporting local employers and members in WA," he said.

"It we don't merge, it will be more difficult for us to continue to offer the current level of services, and members will be required to pay higher fees at some stage."

He said a merger with a culturally aligned partner like First State was the right step, and that WA Super would maintain a local office in Perth.

First State Super chief executive Deanne Stewart said the merger would provide members of both funds with long-term benefits.

“The recent market volatility and economic downturn have clearly demonstrated why we believe that size and scale matters,” she said.

“We have had a presence in WA for some time, and as a result of this merger, will look to strengthen our local services and support in the state.”

Ms Stewart said. following the merger, First State would have additional representatives of its telephone service centre based in WA.

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