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Prominent academic joins SMSF Association board

The SMSF Association is pleased to announce the appointment of a prominent academic with specialist knowledge of financial services and superannuation to its board of directors.

Professor Deborah Ralston, who was Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) from January 2009 to July 2015, joins the board effective 1 July 2016.

Prof Ralston boasts an illustrious academic career that includes a number of leadership positions at Australian universities, as well as being a researcher and recognised thought leader in financial services, with a particular focus on financial regulation, superannuation, innovation and commercialisation. She has published widely in these areas.

She has more than 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director on public and private sector boards and brings significant experience to the Association’s board.
Prof Ralston says it’s a privilege to be invited to join the board of the Association that is the recognised leader of the SMSF sector.

“SMSFs, with about 30% of funds under management in superannuation, represent two areas that interest me enormously – post retirement solutions and innovation, with the latter aligning with my keen interest in fintech – and I look forward to being part of the future direction of the Association.

“There can be no argument SMSFs’ use of technology has reduced costs, making them much more viable to people with lower superannuation balances, which is why we see a real change in SMSF demographics with more young people establishing them.

“I am confident this superannuation sector will continue to flourish, and I am keen to contribute, especially in my areas of policy interest, to an Association that has played such a critical role in the growth of SMSFs and the nurturing of the specialist advisory industry to it.”

SMSF Association chairman Andrew Gale says: “We are delighted that Professor Ralston is joining the board. She has an extensive background in financial services, public policy, academia, research, education, innovation and start-ups, and as a non-executive director of both commercial and not-for-profit boards.

“In addition, she has an extraordinarily deep understanding of the financial services sector in a holistic sense.

“Her capabilities, experience and intellectual rigor are strongly aligned with many of the imperatives in the Association’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan, including sound long-term public policy being informed by robust research, high professional standards, education for both professional members and SMSF trustees, and innovation.”

About the SMSF Association

The SMSF Association is the authoritative voice for the self-managed superannuation fund sector. The Association, which represents professionals providing a range of services across various disciplines in the complex area of SMSFs as well as engaging trustees to become better educated and informed. The SMSF Association is an advocate for the highest professional standards and competence to ensure SMSF trustees always receive the best possible advice.

Contact for interviews

Andrew Gale
SMSF Association Chairman
M: 0412 619 393

Media contact

Nicholas Way
Shed Media
M: 0409 585 979