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Experience, skill set key to appointment

Relevant industry body experience and a number of specific professional attributes are the factors that made John Maroney the ideal person to take over as chief executive of the SMSF Association, according to its chair, Andrew Gale.

“John does have highly relevant experience in leading an industry association and/or a member organisation,” Gale said.

“He was executive director for the Life, investment and Superannuation Association of Australia, CEO for the Actuaries Institute of Australia, and if you look at that organisation, for example, it is a professional association with strong parallels to the SMSF Association in terms of size, function, the professionalism issues you need to deal with, education, public policy, research, member services, and a whole range of things.

“He’s got deep and relevant experience in advocacy in terms of dealing with government, ministers, advisers and policy-making peoples. So he’s done that in a whole range of capacities.”

Among all of these attributes, Gale pointed out Maroney’s familiarity with and attitude toward financial services and retirement savings was a significant factor in choosing him as outgoing chief executive Andrea Slattery’s successor.

“He’s got a really deep understanding of financial services and superannuation. He’s got strong belief in the future growth of the SMSF sector,” he said.

Further, he noted Maroney had an excellent understanding of the chief executive role, governance and the way boards operated.

“[He also understands] the particular attributes of a professional membership organisation, which is different to other organisations – it’s having a real passion for and commitment to your professional members,” he said.

“John’s got principles and values, and that was a key issue for us, which are highly congruent with the principles and values of the association. So [these are] integrity, professionalism, respect for individuals and also a considered and intellectual approach to public policy development which is sound in the medium to long term.”

He identified financial numeracy, the ability to build commercial areas while maintaining member focus and the ability to lead and develop a mid-sized organisation as other critical characteristics the new chief executive possessed.

“We are deeply indebted to Andrea for the leadership she’s provided to the SMSF sector and the association, and the appointment of John Maroney we believe will build on that very considerable legacy and ensure strong leadership for the future,” he said.

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