Australasia’s superannuation industry will require more people on the front desk and less clogging up the back-office over the next decade, according to a new survey carried out by BNP Paribas Securities Services and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).
The survey of trustees, CEOs and senior management in about 100 superannuation funds across Australia and New Zealand found “member relations, advice and services” were likely to be the most in-demand jobs by 2025.
Just over 30 per cent of those surveyed rated member-facing jobs on top, followed by technology and digital services (22 per cent), investments and analysis (19 per cent), marketing/communication (13 per cent) and compliance/risk management (8 per cent).
“Some management also expected there would be a need for futurists as well as experts in behavioural finance as well as organisational change,” the BNP survey press release says.
On the flipside, the survey found behind-the-scenes jobs in superannuation funds are likely to dwindle as outsourcing increases in areas such as fund operations, back office, administration and call centres.
A high proportion of respondents also expected leaders in the superannuation industry would have to be more “technologically savvy” by 2025.
“Flexibility, strategic agility, vision, communication and listening skills also ranked high,” the BNP release says. “Being open and transparent with an ‘open door’ policy was also cited by numerous respondents.”
The report, titled ‘2025: What will the Superannuation Industry look like in a decade?’, was commissioned “to identify long-term issues, challenges and opportunities for asset owners, managers and investors – and where the jobs will be”.
According to the survey, almost 70 per cent of respondents are worried about how the aging population would affect their businesses over the next decade.
About 40 per cent of those surveyed rated regulation as the single biggest risk facing the industry by 2025 with 71 per cent expecting there would be more regulation by that date.
“The industry is also considering how to best harness technology,” the BNP report says. “For example, it will be key to developing more personalised engagement as well as providing real time and bespoke data delivered on mobile platforms.
“An overwhelming 83% of superannuation trustees expect to personalise each member’s fund experience by 2025.”
Investment performance would also remain the most important factor in super fund selection of underlying managers, the survey found.
“Two thirds (67%) said it was of high importance and almost a third (32%) said it was of moderate importance,” the report says.
Despite this, the survey says “volatility weary investors” will demand better information on the risks they are exposed to with “new risk-return measures” likely to be in place by 2025.
“Almost half (48%) of respondents in our survey predict a swing towards absolute return objectives by 2025,” the report says.