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Hostplus advice to stem SMSF leakage

Industry fund Hostplus is relying on its “financial advice strategy” to help safeguard against members leaving to set up self-managed superannuation funds, according to its CEO.

Reflecting on research from Rice Warner suggesting “a plateau in market share of the SMSF segment over the coming decade”, Hostplus chief executive David Elia told ifa the industry fund was not becoming complacent.

“[The Rice Warner research] is not to say that the SMSF sector should be ignored and … Hostplus has strategies in place to cater to this market,” Mr Elia said.

“Our financial advice strategy will play an increasingly important role in ensuring we don’t lose members that might be considering setting up an SMSF.”

Hostplus’s “advice strategy” has a number of arms, including its over-the-phone general advice service, 24-hour online “Super Adviser” for limited advice and 11 comprehensive financial advisers licensed by Industry Fund Services.

Mr Elia also said the industry fund is planning to launch a pooled superannuation trust (PST) which will “allow SMSF investors to invest with Hostplus and benefit from [its] performance”.

Hostplus’s direct investment option ChoicePlus – which was soft launched in September 2013, also in a bid to offer something to “those considering an SMSF” – has attracted 600 members since inception, investing more than $16 million via the platform, Mr Elia added.

The industry fund CEO also said the MySuper regime has meant that “funds need to work hard to differentiate themselves”, with “factors such as brand increasingly important”.

Hostplus is continuing to build its brand in 2014, which follows on from the fund's decision to increase its presence back in 2004.

The comments come as Industry Super Australia – of which Hostplus is a member – has pledged to ramp up its television advertising spend.