Nigel Aston

Senior managing director and global head of DC proposition and strategy, State Street Global Advisors

Aston is the global head of defined contribution proposition and strategy. He helps define the strategic direction of the global defined contribution franchise and leads a team focusing on research, product, public policy, marketing and client engagement. He is a frequent commentator on long-term saving and investment issues, and a regular speaker at conferences and in the media. He is also a key company liaison with industry, government and regulatory bodies. Aston has extensive experience in leading distribution and marketing teams and driving proposition design. He has been involved with workplace investment products his whole career and is passionate about helping savers have a more confident retirement. Prior to joining SSGA, Aston worked at large enterprises such as Standard Life, where he was head of defined contribution proposition, and AXA, where he was investment strategy director. He was also a director at a start-up robo-adviser focused on understanding investor behaviour and outcomes through data analytics.
John Berrill

Partner, Berrill & Watson Superannuation & Insurance Lawyers

Berrill is a superannuation and insurance lawyer. He is also an accredited personal injuries specialist. Berrill has worked in superannuation, insurance and financial advice for 25 years, providing advocacy and advice to consumers, and he has been heavily involved in policy and law reform. He is on the boards of the Consumer Action Law Centre, the Chronic Illness Alliance and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal Advisory Council. He is also a consumer representative on the AFCA Transition Reference Group and a volunteer at Social Security Rights Victoria. He was a member of the Financial Industry Complaints Service Board and Panel, the SuperStream Advisory Council, the Stronger Super Implementation Committee and the Natural Disaster Insurance Review Panel.

Wednesday 1:00pm Solving group insurance

John Brumby

Chair, MTAA Super

Brumby was the premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010. He also served for more than 10 years as treasurer, six years as leader of the Victorian opposition and seven years as federal MP for Bendigo during the Hawke government. Since retiring from politics, Brumby has accepted a number of board positions, along with an appointment as enterprise professor at the University of Melbourne. He is chairman of the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) Superannuation Fund, Citywide Service Solutions, BioCurate, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Trust, The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. Brumby is also an independent director of Huawei Technologies (Australia) and national president of the Australia China Business Council.
Geoff Brunsdon

Chair, Sims Metal Management

Brunsdon is also chair of MetLife Insurance, IPE Ltd and APN Funds Management. He was also chairman of Redkite until 2015 and is now a patron. He is a director of The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. He was previously managing director and head of investment banking at Merrill Lynch International (Australia) until 2009. Between 1993 and 1997, he was a member of the listing committee of ASX where, from 2007 to 2016, he was on the takeovers panel. He is a fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Brett Clark

Group chief executive and managing director, TAL

Clark was appointed to his current role on April 1, 2015. He joined TAL in August 2008 as chief executive of TAL Retail Life, responsible for TAL’s life insurance operations for the retail financial advice market. In May 2013, he was appointed chief executive of TAL Life, with responsibility across TAL’s retail life, group life, investments and financial advice businesses. Clark is a qualified actuary and has previously worked in a range of senior executive roles over many years. He has had experience across a broad range of functions, including strategy, finance, sales, product and marketing, and operations both in Australia and internationally. Clark is a member of the Financial Services council board of directors and an executive officer of Dai-ichi Life Holdings. He has earned a bachelor of commerce degree.

Wednesday 1:00pm Solving group insurance

John Coombe

Executive director, JANA

Coombe is the elder statesman at JANA, having worked across all asset classes. He has extensive client exposure across the full spectrum of the JANA client base. Coombe is JANA’s longest-serving employee, having joined the firm in 1988. Prior to that, his experience included 10 years at the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. He has been internationally acclaimed as an investment consultant, having been voted as one of the top five in the world. He works on a number of JANA’s large industry funds and has also been appointed to MLC Super’s investment committee. Coombe holds a diploma of business studies from Footscray Institute of Technology and is a qualified accountant.
Jim Craig

Chair of investment committee, AustralianSuper

Craig has practised law in Australia and internationally, and has held a number of senior roles at Macquarie Group. During his 20 years with Macquarie, he had experience in resources, infrastructure and fund management, including leading Macquarie’s European businesses from 2003-08. Since leaving Macquarie, he has held a number of directorships, including at listed companies Australian United Investment Company and Lifestyle Communities, and private companies Cell Care Australia and River Capital. Craig has sat on the investment committee of AustralianSuper since 2016, and has recently been appointed independent chair of the investment committee and an independent director on AustralianSuper’s board. He also has significant philanthropic involvement, serving as chairman of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and the Bellwether Foundation, and previously serving on the board of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Craig has earned a bachelor’s degrees in law and economics from the University of Adelaide, and a master’s degree in law from the University of Melbourne.
Helen Davis

Chairperson, Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

Davis has worked in the superannuation and financial services industries for more than 20 years. Her past executive roles include chief executive, chief officer member outcomes, and chief strategy officer. She was a finalist in the 2006 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Davis has earned an MBA, a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and a diploma in superannuation management. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Melda Donnelly

Senior advisor, Conexus Financial

Melda Donnelly OAM is a senior adviser to Conexus Financial, non-executive director, Pacific Current Group, Chair of Coolibah Capital,  member of HESTA investment Committee and the Oxford Centre for Ageing. In 1996 she founded the Centre for Investor Education. She has served as a director of UniSuper, acting chair and deputy chair of the Victorian Funds Management Corporation, chair of Plum Financial Services, a director of Ashmore Plc, advisor to bfinance and managing director of ANZ Trustees. She was also ANZ’s first female appointment to senior management in 1985.
Stephen Dunne

Chair, investment committee, Cbus Super

Dunne is a director of Cbus. He is also a director of QIC and NAPCo and chairman of Evergen. He worked at AMP Capital from 1994 to 2016, holding a number of roles. In 2004, he was appointed chief executive of AMP Capital, a role he held until retiring from the company in 2016. He will commence his term as chair of the CFA Societies Australia Advocacy Council early in 2018. Dunne is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He holds an MBA from Monash University and is a fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tuesday 4:00pm Industry response

Jack Elliott

Chief data scientist, Flamingo AI

Elliott leads Flamingo AI’s machine learning initiative and is responsible for the development of its core ROSIE virtual assistant product. He has worked in software engineering since the late ‘90s and held senior software roles in a number of organisations, including at BlackRock, where over three years he was based in London, then San Francisco, leading the design and development of the strategic portfolio management platform. Elliott holds a PhD in English literature and has published a number of papers in the use of natural language processing. His efforts in the field of large-scale, natural language processing and linguistics led to attributing a play to William Shakespeare in 2016.

Wednesday 1:45pm AI in financial services

Andrew Fairley

Chair, Equip Super

Fairley founded Australia’s first specialist superannuation law firm, IFS Fairley, in 1993, having built a reputation as a leading practitioner in superannuation law and practice since 1980. He was named one of Australia’s best superannuation lawyers from 2013 to 2016 by the Australian Financial Review. He has specialised as a legal adviser to trustees of both industry and corporate superannuation funds. He practises as a consultant to Hall & Wilcox lawyers in Melbourne. He also has a passion for the Australian tourism sector and nature-based tourism in particular. Fairley is very involved in the philanthropic sector, and is chairman of the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation, the Luke Batty Foundation and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
Kirstin Ferguson

Chair, remuneration committee, SCA Property Group

Ferguson is an experienced company director on ASX 100, ASX 200, private, government and not-for-profit boards. She chairs three remuneration committees and was previously chair of a multibillion-dollar construction company advisory board. Ferguson’s executive career included roles as chief executive of a global consulting organisation and senior executive roles in professional services. She began her career as an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. Ferguson is a member of Chief Executive Women and Women Corporate Directors. She has been named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence. She has earned a PhD in leadership and governance, and honours degrees in both law and history. She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Peter Greste

UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communications, University of Queensland; and author of The First Casualty

Greste is an Australian-born journalist with 25 years’ experience as a foreign correspondent. He covered the civil war in Yugoslavia and elections in South Africa as a freelance reporter before joining the BBC as its Afghanistan correspondent in 1995. He went on to cover Latin America, the Middle East and Africa for the BBC from 2006. In 2011, he won a Peabody Award for a BBC documentary on Somalia before joining Al Jazeera as its East Africa correspondent. In December 2013, he was covering Egypt on a three-week assignment when he was arrested on terrorism charges. After a trial widely dismissed as a sham, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. In February the following year, after intense international pressure, he was deported under a presidential decree. As a result of the letters he wrote from prison in defence of freedom of the press, he won a Walkley Award in 2014, and Royal Television Society and Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards in 2015. He has also been awarded the International Association of Press Clubs Freedom of Speech Award, Liberty Victoria’s Voltaire Award, the Australian Human Rights Commission Medal (all in 2015), and the RSL’s 2016 Anzac Peace Prize. Greste has since returned to Australia as a freelance journalist, to write a book, produce documentaries and campaign about press freedom issues.
David Knox

Senior partner, Mercer; author of the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, Mercer

Knox is a senior actuary for Australia. He is the national leader for research and policy and the actuary to the Tasmanian and Western Australian public-sector superannuation plans. Before joining Mercer in 2005, Knox was at PricewaterhouseCoopers (now PwC). Prior to that, he was the foundation professor of actuarial studies at the University of Melbourne. He has acted as a consultant to a range of financial organisations in both the private and public sectors, specialising in superannuation and retirement incomes. He has spoken and written widely in this area and served on many government and industry committees. Knox was an independent board member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority from 1998 to 2003 and president of the Actuaries Institute in 2000.
Graeme Liebelt

Chair, Amcor

Liebelt was managing director and chief executive of Orica for six and a half years. During his 22 years with the ICI Australia/Orica group, he held a number of senior positions, including managing director of DuluxGroup, chairman of Incitec, director of Incitec Pivot and chief executive of Orica Mining Services. He was an executive director of the Orica Group from 1997 until March 2012. Liebelt is chairman of Amcor. He is also a director of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Australian Foundation Investment Company, DuluxGroup and Carey Baptist Grammar School. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jenni Mack

Trustee director, Sunsuper

Mack has worked on consumer issues in superannuation and financial advice for more than 25 years. She is best known as a former chair of Choice, where she campaigned to end conflicts of interest, raise professional and ethical standards for financial advisers, and provide a stronger consumer voice in superannuation. Mack was the first of three independent directors at the $42 billion profit-for-members super fund Sunsuper. She is a former member of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s external advisory panel and its digital finance advisory panel, and also chaired ASIC’s consumer advisory panel for nine years. She is a former director of the Financial Ombudsman Service and has served on numerous government working parties and ministerial advisory committees in financial services. Mack serves on many boards and committees outside of financial services as well; she is a director of the Red Cross Blood Service and chairs of one of Australia’s largest community service delivery organisations, CoAct (formerly Job Futures).
Damien Mu

Chief executive, AIA Australia

Mu was appointed to his current role on August 1, 2014. He has more than 18 years of experience in the Australian financial services industry, with management experience spanning operations, claims and underwriting, superannuation, investments, distribution, product, pricing and marketing. His career at AIA Australia began in April 2007. He has held roles as head of group insurance, chief distribution and marketing officer, and general manager – life insurance. In the latter two roles, he had responsibility for group insurance, and direct and individual life channels, including product management, pricing and marketing. He is a director of AIA Australia and the Financial Services Council and is co-chair of the life board committee. Prior to joining AIA Australia, Mu held various roles at Superpartners. These included operations manager for AustralianSuper and national manager of insurance and claims services. Mu has also worked on retail master trusts at both Colonial and Norwich Union.

Wednesday 1:00pm Solving group insurance

Ian Patrick

Chief investment officer, Sunsuper

Patrick joined Sunsuper in November 2015. He and his team are responsible for continuing to execute the strategy of investing in a broad range of asset classes with dynamic asset allocation, and pursuing innovative investment opportunities, all while maintaining a strong emphasis on governance and maximising members’ returns. Patrick has more than 20 years of experience in the institutional investment industry, most recently holding the position of chief executive at JANA Investment Advisers from 2008. Prior to that, he was head of global equities at JANA. He has also worked for Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Alexander Forbes Consultants and Actuaries, and Ginsburg Malan and Carsons Consultants and Actuaries in Johannesburg. Patrick is an actuary and has earned an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in science (honours) from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is a CFA charterholder.
Lysarne Pelling

Head of policy, Australian Institute of Company Directors

Pelling leads the AICD’s development and advocacy on a range of corporate governance and legal issues, including director liability, insolvency reform, corporate culture and corporate law reform. Prior to joining AICD, Pelling was a senior associate in one of the largest Australia-based international corporate law firms, where she specialised in providing corporate advisory and governance services to the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She also conducted training and seminars on directors’ duties and other corporate governance topics. Additionally, she has authored or co-authored a number of articles on governance. Pelling has earned bachelor’s degrees in law (honours) and business accountancy (with distinction), along with a graduate diploma in applied corporate governance, for which she was national dux. She is a graduate of the AICD’s company director course.
Daniel Reyes

Head of investments, Vanguard Asia-Pacific, Vanguard Investments

Reyes has been in his current role since October 2017. He is a principal, based in Melbourne. In this role, he leads Vanguard’s experienced team of investment management and strategy professionals in Australia and Asia. Prior to this, he was based in the Malvern, Pennsylvania, office in the investment strategy group, with responsibility for the team’s support of Vanguard’s advised solutions. Reyes joined Vanguard in 2004 and has held several roles, spanning Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services, the fixed income portfolio management group, human resources, the retail division and the education savings business. Before joining Vanguard, he worked for Towers Perrin in its executive compensation consulting practice. Reyes has earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in economics with concentrations in finance and management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is a CFA charterholder.
Fiona Reynolds

Managing director, PRI

Reynolds is responsible to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) board for global operations, which includes more than 1,350 signatories representing more than $45 trillion in assets under management, across 50 countries. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience in the pension sector working in particular with the Australian government and has played a key role in advocating pension policy change on behalf of working Australians. Reynolds has a particular interest in retirement outcomes for women. Prior to joining PRI, Reynolds spent seven years as the chief executive at the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, an association for Australian asset owners. Reynolds has formerly been a director of AUSfund, Industry Funds Credit Control, Australia and for UNHCR and the National Network of Women in Super. In September 2012 she was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s top 100 women of influence for her work in public policy. Reynolds also serves on the councils of the International Integrated Reporting Council, Tomorrow’s Company, the Global Advisory Council on Stranded Assets at Oxford University and on the Business for Peace steering committee.
Michael Rice

Chair, investment committee, StatePlus

Rice specialises in providing strategic advice to financial institutions, fund managers, government agencies, industry associations and large superannuation funds. He is the chief executive of Rice Warner, which he founded in December 1987. He heads up Rice Warner’s public policy work and has undertaken pioneering research into age pension dependency and trends. Rice was chairman of QSuper’s investment committee from January 2009 to June 2013 and remained an independent investment expert on the committee until March 2016. He is a former councillor of the Actuaries Institute. He is also a member of the advisory board of the ANU College of Business and Economics. He was appointed to the StatePlus board in October 2016. Rice is convener of the Actuaries Institute’s public policy committee and was awarded Actuary of the Year for 2017.

Tuesday 4:00pm Industry response

Sally Rose

Editor, Investment Magazine

Prior to joining Conexus Financial in October 2016, Rose was a reporter covering financial services for the Australian Financial Review, with a focus on the superannuation sector. Before that, she was the newspaper’s markets reporter. During her five years at Fairfax Media, she also wrote for Business Day and was a regular contributor to the AFR’s accounting and technology pages. Earlier, she was a senior reporter on CFO and Capital magazines. Prior to that, Rose held the role of blogger-in-chief for Global Access Partners, where she oversaw online communities Open Forum and First 5000. Rose holds a diploma in visual arts, painting, from Australian National University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Newcastle.

Tuesday 4:00pm Industry response

Helen Rowell

Deputy chair, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Rowell was appointed to her current role in November 2015. She joined APRA in 2002 as general manager, industry technical services, and was appointed APRA member with primary responsibility for superannuation for a five-year term from July 1, 2013. Prior to that, Rowell held other senior roles, including general manager, policy development, general manager, diversified institutions division, and executive general manager, supervisory support division. She was chair of APRA’s cross-divisional general insurance industry group from 2006 to 2011. She has also represented APRA on various subcommittees of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, and on the Financial Stability Board’s supervisory intensity and effectiveness group. She was previously co-chair of the Joint Forum Financial Conglomerates Committee. Prior to joining APRA, Rowell was a partner at the international consulting firm Towers Perrin. She is a fellow and past president of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
Leigh Sales

ABC TV, Journalist and anchor, 7.30

Sales is an award-winning author and journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to her current role, she anchored Lateline, interviewing major figures including Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. From 2001 to 2005, she was the ABC’s Washington correspondent, covering stories including the aftermath of September 11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2004 US presidential election and Hurricane Katrina. From 2006 to 2008, she was the ABC’s national security correspondent. In 2005, Sales won a Walkley Award for her coverage of Guantanamo Bay and the case of David Hicks. Her book on the subject, Detainee 002, was won the George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. Her writing has been published in The Monthly, The Bulletin, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Diplomat. One of her essays was included in The Best Australian Political Writing of 2007. Her second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009. Sales is a sought-after public speaker and has appeared at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Sydney Institute, the National Press Club, the Australian Institute of International Affairs and the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne writers festivals. She has earned a master’s degree in international relations and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Tuesday 8:00am Welcome

Tuesday 8:45am 25 years of mandated super

Catherine Savage

Chair, New Zealand Super Fund

Savage has been a guardians board member since 2009. She was appointed deputy chair in 2012 and chair in 2016. She is managing director of Savage Group, an independent director of the Todd Family Office and Pathfinder Asset Management. Her previous governance experience includes being an independent director of Kiwibank and chair of the board of trustees for National Provident Fund. Savage was treasurer of the National Gas Corporation from 1991-93, prior to moving to AMP Capital Investors (NZ), where she held a number of senior management roles, including managing director from 2000-07.
Colin Tate

Chief executive, Conexus Financial

Tate has been an investment industry media publisher and conference producer since 1996. In his media career, Tate has launched and overseen dozens of print and electronic publications. He is the chief executive and major shareholder of Conexus Financial, which was formed in 2005, and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company stages more than 20 conferences and events each year – in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Beijing, Sydney and Melbourne – and publishes five media brands, including the global website and strategy newsletter for global institutional investors www.top1000funds.com. One of the company’s signature events is the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium. Conexus Financial’s events aim to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes. Tate served for seven years on the board of Australia’s most high profile homeless charity, The Wayside Chapel; and he has underwritten the welfare of 60,000 people in 28 villages throughout Uganda via The Hunger Project.
Anne Ward

Chair, Colonial First Investments, Avanteos Investments and Qantas Super

Ward is chairman of Colonial First State Investments, Avanteos Investments, Qantas Superannuation, and Zoos Victoria. She is a director of ASX-listed MYOB Group. She is also a council member at RMIT University, a director of the Foundation for Imaging Research, and a governor of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Her previous directorships include Flexigroup, the Transport Accident Commission, Epworth Hospital and the Brain Research Institute. Prior to becoming a professional director, Ward was a commercial lawyer for 28 years and was general counsel for Australia at National Australia Bank and a partner at MinterEllison in Melbourne. Ward’s achievements were recognised in 2013, when she was named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review, and in 2012 when she was awarded an Australian Institute of Company Directors diversity scholarship. Ward has earned bachelor’s degrees in laws and arts from the University of Melbourne. She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tuesday 4:00pm Industry response

Peter Warne

Chair, Macquarie Group and Macquarie Bank

Warne has more than 30 years of experience in financial services and investment banking, including serving in a number of roles at Bankers Trust Australia over 18 years, such as head of its financial markets group from 1988 to 1999. Warne has been a director of ASX Limited since 2006 and a director of New South Wales Treasury Corporation (TCorp) since 2012. Warne previously served as chairman of ALE Property Group from 2003-17 and OFX Group (formerly OzForex) from 2013 to 2016.
Garry Weaven

Chair, IFM Investors

Weaven is the founding executive chair of Industry Fund Services and now chairs IFM Investors’ group holding company, Industry Super Holdings, and The New Daily. He is a director of Industry Super Australia and also of the newly formed International Property Funds Management. Weaven is a former independent director and chair of ME Bank and was a foundation member of Melbourne’s Docklands Authority and Infrastructure Australia. As assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in the 1980s, he played a seminal role in the development of the industry superannuation fund movement. He was also the founding chair of a number of today’s leading funds before leaving the ACTU to take on a range of consultancies in the early 1990s.