Health and community services super fund HESTA has seen its total funds under management (FUM) swell to nearly $70 billion following the completion of its merger with Brisbane-based Mercy Super today.
Announced six months ago, the deal has seen 13,000 Mercy Super members and their assets transfer over to HESTA, with most of the former’s employees joining the health fund to help service 970,000-plus members.
The move comes amid a flurry of consolidation in the sector after two of Australia’s largest superannuation funds - QSuper and Sunsuper – brought together more than two million members to create a $230 billion manager called Australian Retirement Trust (ART).
It also follows the completion of Christian Super's merger with Australian Ethical (ASX: AEF) in July, which led to the latter absorbing 30,000 members and $2 billion in FUM.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the completed merger marked an important milestone for the fund and its members.
“It’s fantastic that this merger continues to build on HESTA’s strong growth, and I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Mercy Super members who can be assured they continue to be in a top-performing fund,” Blakey said.
“It’s exciting that we’ve been able to deliver a smooth merger in just eight months, which has involved great collaboration with Mercy Super and HESTA colleagues across so many teams.
“It’s been an incredible effort and I want to thank Mercy Super CEO Wendy Tancred and all the team who’ve done an amazing job to ensure that members continue to receive outstanding service and help when they need it.”
Founded in 1987, HESTA's membership is more than 80 per cent female, with the Melbourne-based super fund investing heavily in gender equality.
HESTA advocates for women by lobbying to remove the $450 minimum super threshold, a policy it believes disproportionately affects women, especially those in lower-paid caring roles.
It also provides micro-finance projects that support low-income people across India, with up to 70 per cent of the investment supporting women and providing access to finance for housing and small businesses.
Operating in Queensland since 1962, Mercy Super provides benefits for employees of Brisbane’s Mater Hospital and other Sisters of Mercy organisations.
At the time the deal was announced, Mercy Super CEO Wendy Tancred said the merger had been strategically planned to ensure that their members' super remained strong and sustainable.
“In HESTA, we have chosen a top-performing fund that shares our same commitment to the health sector and those working in it,” Tancred said in June.
“We’re confident our members will continue to enjoy even better retirement outcomes through a winning combination of strong performance and low fees in a like-minded fund where the cultural fit is strong."
Mercy Super’s on-site location at Mater’s South Brisbane Hospital campus will continue to operate.
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