The Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) has hired ex-pat New Zealander, Jim Minto, as interim CEO.
Minto, head of the Dai-Ichi Life-owned insurance firm TAL (formerly Tower Australia) March last year, replaces ASFA chief, Pauline Vamos, who announced her resignation in February after serving over eight years in the role.
Since November 2013 Minto has been chair of ASFA, the industry body which represents the interests of the largest funds in Australia’s AU$2 trillion plus superannuation business.
Originally a Napier boy, Minto rose to the top of TAL after a lengthy career with various predecessor Tower firms. He headed the-then Tower-owned Trustees Executors (known as Tower Trust over 1999-2003 brand in 2003) from 1988 until June 2000.
For a brief period in 2002 Minto took charge of Tower NZ before heading across the Tasman in the same year as CEO of the Australian arm of the business.
He presided over a difficult few years for the NZ-originated firm that saw its broader financial services ambitions thwarted across the Tasman.
Minto managed the eventual split-up of the Tower businesses that that resulted in the Australian and NZ insurance arms separating while the group’s wealth management division (including advice, investment and platform units) was spun-off as the ASX-listed Australian Wealth Management.
He retired from TAL last March after more than eight years at the helm.
Minto will remain as ASFA chief until a permanent replacement for Vamos is appointed some time later this year. According to industry sources, Jeremy Cooper, current chair of Challenger retirement income, was the front-runner for the role. Cooper headed the 2009 Australian government review that led to a swag of changes to the Australian superannuation system.