Shed Media speaks with Olivia Long, who is passionately involved in the SMSF sector.
Olivia is the Chief Executive Officer of Xpress Super. She is is a shareholder and executive director of SuperGuardian. She has had 15 years experience in the Financial Services Industry predominantly in management roles and joined SuperGuardian in 2004. She studied a Bachelor of Communication (Marketing) and various courses with the Financial Services Institute of Australia. She is an active member of SPAA – The SMSF Professionals’ Association Australia and has over six years experience in self managed superannuation.
How did you land in finance/superannuation investments sector?
After 7 years at Ord Minnett stockbrokers, I decided to return to my home town, Adelaide to be closer to family. Although there were no opportunities with Ords in Adelaide, the State Manager referred me to a newly launched firm, SuperGuardian, a specialist SMSF administration, accounting and tax service. I joined at the start-up phase and am delighted to be approaching my 10th Anniversary!
has this industry challenged or surprised you throughout your career?
Over the past ten years, we’ve seen what was traditionally a very complex investment vehicle (the self-managed super fund), simplify – with the use of technology and the emergence of specialist Administrators who can hand hold trustees who want to manage their own superannuation investments.
A recent survey, the SMSF Active Management report 2013 indicated one in 12 Australians say they plan to open an SMSF in the next three years, equal to around 1.4 million people. If they act on those plans, the number of SMSF members would more than double.
I’m excited that the level of growth and interest in self managing super will have a positive effect on people’s retirement savings, as I believe there is a direct benefit from those who ‘take control’ and become ‘engaged’ in their investments.
What are the big issues playing on your mind?
Our big issue at present is our move into the ‘mini SMSF’ space with the launch of our latest brand, Xpress Super.
With the use of technology key, we’ve developed an SMSF product that is the best value for money in the industry at just $799 per annum flat fee.
We’ve developed a very simple offering, using the CBA Cash hub, rebranding Comsec’s online trading platform as Xpress Super, and limiting other product providers to the offering so we can provide a paperless solution. In return, we’ve lowered the entry cost for people to self-managed super so that at even $100,000 – an SMSF is viable. Our product is literally revolutionizing the SMSF industry opening it up to more participants than ever possible before.
So what do you do in down time that doesn’t involve finance/superannuation investments?
My week is usually choc full of travel so weekend/down time is spent relaxing with my precious 4 year old son and Hubby. We incorporate fitness/sunshine and play into our daily routine. There’s nothing we enjoy more than relaxing at home with family, friends, good wine and fine dining.