The SMSF Association has used its national conference to introduce a new designation for members who have spent a significant number of years servicing the sector in a meaningful way.
“The fellows of the SMSF Association designation is to recognise individuals who are SMSF specialists with 15 years of continual membership with the association. The person also needs to have demonstrated leadership in the SMSF sector either via what they’ve contributed to on, for example, the speaker circuit or their employment responsibility,” SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney told selfmanagedsuper.
“We thought this would be a worthwhile way to recognise people who have made a big contribution over a long period of time. We also want to see it develop into having a role-model aspect for others who are coming through the system.
“It’s an opportunity for us to say there is more to life than doing your job and doing it well. Being seen to be a leader in the sector is also important and this is a way of recognising that.”
The process involves members applying to become fellows of the SMSF Association, with the industry body’s board members then reviewing all applications and deciding to whom the fellowship mantle should be awarded.
The application must include two references as well as evidence of how they have contributed to the sector over the specified time frame.
“The plan is to go through this process once or twice a year depending on the volume of applications received,” Maroney noted.
The inaugural fellows were bestowed the new designation yesterday evening, prior to the official commencement of the SMSF Association National Conference on the Gold Coast.
The first members to achieve fellow status include former association chief executive Andrea Slattery, Adam Goldstein, Brian Williams, Cameron Reed, David Busoli, Peter Davis, Peter Fry, Craig Day, Daniel Butler, Mark Ellem and Meg Heffron.
The SMSF industry body has not placed a limit on the number of fellowships it will award yearly. Further, while the frequency of awarding the designation has not been determined, Maroney stipulated members would only receive fellowships at either the body’s national conference or its technical day seminars.
At the opening of the conference, SMSFA board chair Robin Bowerman announced he would be succeeded by Andrew Hamilton from the end of the conference.
Hamilton is a current SMSFA board member and was previously chair from February 2012 to February 2014.
Bowerman will remain on the board as Deputy Chair, and assumed the chair in September 2019 after his predecessor, Professor Deborah Ralston, stood down to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest after being appointed to the Retirement Income Review panel.
From 21 February, the board will comprise Andrew Hamilton – Chair, Robin Bowerman – Vice Chair, Robyn FitzRoy, Liam Shorte, Bernie Ripoll, Tracey Scotchbrook, Michael Houlihan and Scott Hay-Bartlem.