In my last year’s newsletter column, I shared my thoughts on ‘bracing for change’. The change would come from regulators, customers/members, and consumer lobby groups. We had new legislation to deal with and an industry regulator that would focus on best practice outcomes. My quote “change is in the air and it’s going to continue” certainly happened, but in no way like we were expecting.
However, with COVID-19 influencing every part of our work and personal lives for the majority of 2020, there needs to be a recognition of the positive way the financial services industry responded. The industry remained focused on members/customers and supported them in new ways we couldn’t have planned for.
Pivoting to work from home for Australia’s largest financial services providers previously would have been unheard of – now they are old hands at it and for many of us we never even realised the difference. Continuing to put the member/customer’s best interests first whether that was the early release of super, home loan repayment honeymoons or increasing distributed call centre services all actually took place in a six month period. Unheard of prior to COVID.
Here at McGing we were already working from home one day per week for our team and were in a good place to switch to a 5 day work from home policy. It helped us understand how people needed to adapt to new environments, new technologies and gave us the flexibility we needed to better support our clients.
For 2021 it is my fervent wish to see some return to normalcy so the team here can benefit from more natural collaboration. This also extends to being able to meet with our clients face to face. It’s our intention to continue to support our clients as they respond to volatile investment markets and emerge from the recession with highly sustainable businesses. For the superannuation sector, it will be particularly challenging as the spectre of low interest rates generates lower long-term investment returns and this directly and rapidly impacts the lifestyle for millions of Australian retirees.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the support of our valued clients throughout the year and express my thanks for trusting us with your business. I hope the team here at McGing has helped you achieve your goals.
The team at McGing will be taking the time to rest and re-charge over the break and I wish everyone the very best for the festive season, no matter where, when, and how you celebrate.
Sean is Managing Director of McGing Advisory & Actuarial and is currently Deputy Chair of the ASFA Victorian Executive. These views are his own personal views.
Sean and the team at McGing Advisory & Actuarial provide a wide range of Superannuation support services including administration, investment, insurance, risk, governance and actuarial advice.