Monday, 05 October 2022
Aware Super, the industry super fund managing more than $150 billion on behalf of 1.1 million members, today announced the planned retirement of Neil Cochrane, after nine years as independent Chair of the Board. Mr Cochrane has served three successive terms as Chair, the maximum term length allowed under the Fund’s Constitution. His last day as Chair will be 28 February 2023.
During Mr Cochrane’s tenure Aware Super has set new benchmarks for the superannuation industry through its Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan, strident advocacy for gender equity, diversity, and inclusion on behalf of its members, and a dedicated commitment to strong, long-term performance.
Mr Cochrane has served as Chair of the Aware Super Board since 2014, including the period since the merger between First State Super and VicSuper on 1 July 2020 – at the time the single largest industry super fund merger on record.
“Aware Super would not be what it is today without the leadership and vision provided by our retiring Chair, Neil Cochrane,” said Aware Super Chief Executive Officer, Deanne Stewart.
“Neil is one of the great custodians of Australia’s superannuation system, having dedicated more than three decades to ensuring Australians can look forward to their best possible retirement. As a fund – firstly as First State Super, and then as Aware Super – we have been incredibly fortunate to have benefited from his leadership since his appointment in 2014.
“I am very grateful, on a personal level, for the wisdom and guidance Neil brought to the role as Chair of our Board, to the benefit of all our members.”
In announcing Mr Cochrane’s retirement today, Ms Stewart also announced that Sam Mostyn AO will join the Board as independent Chair, commencing in the role on 1 March 2023.
The role will see Ms Mostyn join the equal representation Board that includes appointments from the governments of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, Unions NSW, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victoria Branch), Victorian Healthcare Association, and the Australian Education Union (Victoria Branch).
“After a comprehensive search, I’m extremely pleased to welcome Sam Mostyn into the Aware Super family,” said Ms Stewart.
“Sam is one of Australia’s most seasoned Board Chairs and an experienced leader who understands that as one of Australia's largest super funds it is vitally important that we continue to deliver strong and sustainable long-term returns for our members.
“Sam also brings to the role the high integrity and deep care we have always found in Neil – values that underpin everything we stand for as a Fund.
“At a time of so much change in the Australian economy, we’re excited to have someone with Sam’s extensive corporate experience demonstrating the long-term value creation that can be achieved through a commitment to policies such as positive climate action, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.
“Our members can feel confident Aware Super will continue to deliver strong performance and the best advice, help and guidance of any superannuation fund in Australia,” said Ms Stewart.
Ms Mostyn said she looked forward to commencing as Chair at a pivotal time for Aware Super, and Australia’s retirement industry
”It is a privilege to be appointed to succeed Neil Cochrane as Chair in 2023,” said Ms Mostyn.
“Given Aware Super’s member base, I look forward to bringing a continued focus on the values and principles that have defined the culture, aspirations and strong performance of the organisation to date.”
At the close of the financial year ending 30 June 2022, Aware Super reported funds under management of $152 billion, representing the retirement savings of approximately 1.1 million members.