Legendary FireSuper secretary, Barry Dent, retired last Friday after almost 30 years’ involvement with the scheme.
Dent, a stalwart on New Zealand’s employer superannuation scene, joined the Christchurch-based FireSuper as a trustee in 1987 before taking on the scheme secretary responsibilities in September 1994.
“I’ve watched the scheme grow from zero to $373 million,” he said. “And it’s still growing – we had $13 million in new contributions over the last year.”
With FireSuper about to transition to the new Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC) regime, Dent said now was a “logical” time to retire.
“If I stayed much longer, I would’ve had to see the FMC transition through to next year – now there’s enough time to find someone else to manage that,” he said.
Following his departure, FireSuper appointed Mercer as scheme secretary, with relationship manager Jan Barber due to take over official duties this week.
However, Dent said FireSuper investments would continue to be managed as previously, with discrete mandates selected after advice from Russell Investments consultants.
He said the government-owned New Zealand Fire Service has been supportive of the employer super scheme through the FMC changes.
“They see it as a good HR tool.”
As at the end of June this year, FireSuper reported 1,858 members and assets totaling over $ 373 million.
Despite retiring from FireSuper, Dent said he was not completely put out to pasture, with a number of community and consulting roles still ongoing.
“I will continue with some other governance interests I have as the chairman at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club and a director at Harness Racing New Zealand along with some other pro-bono positions for Christchurch-based organisations,” he said. “I will also continue to give wholesale investment advice for a number of Christchurch based organisations as well.
“But I’m not looking to take on any further roles.”