Melbourne-based Vision Super appoints new CEO

Stephen Rowe was named CEO of the A$7 billion (US$6.4 billion) Vision Super, Melbourne, Australia, effective in January.

Mr. Rowe will take on the CEO duties from Peter Rowe, Vision Super's chief operating officer, who became acting CEO with the departure of longtime CEO Rob Brooks more than a year ago.

Stephen Rowe and Peter Rowe aren't related, confirmed David Moxon, Vision Super's general manager fund development, in a telephone interview.

Peter Rowe will remain with Vision Super as COO.

Stephen Rowe comes to Vision Super from Super SA, an A$16.1 billion superannuation fund based in Adelaide. A spokesman for Super SA couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

At the time of Mr. Brooks' departure in 2012, Vision Super was engaged in merger talks with other superannuation funds.

Asked whether the appointment of Stephen Rowe points to any particular conclusions about Vision Super's continued independence, Mr. Moxon deferred that question to Peter Wilson, the fund's chairman.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Mr. Wilson said with Australia’s government continuing to promote competition in the superannuation industry, Vision Super will remain “open to mergers, but we’re not chasing them.”

Instead, Stephen Rowe’s appointment will allow Vision Super to focus on organic growth by delivering strong returns to customers at lower costs, leaving the organization well placed to be a leader, rather than a follower, should an opportunity to merge with another superannuation provider come along at some point in the future, he said.