The 2016 Innovation Awards presented by Pensions & Investments' WorldPensionSummit on Thursday honored excellence in retirement across four categories.
The awards — recognizing innovation in communication, technology, investment and pension reform — were presented during the annual the WorldPensionSummit conference in The Hague, Netherlands, held Wednesday and Thursday.
The winners are:
- Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, for excellence in innovation in communication. Siti Zauyah, deputy chairman, collected the award on behalf of the defined contribution plan, which was recognized for the establishment of its retirement advisory services — a platform for participants to obtain personalized financial advice from trained planners. The platform also provides participants with a holistic view of retirement, including active and healthy aging.
- People's Pension Holding, Ghana, for excellence in innovation in technology. The award was received by Robert Timmer, chief technology officer at People's Pension Holding for the design and development of information technology, organization and distribution services for informal sector workers. Judges said the work was also easily replicable to other countries.
- Cbus Superannuation, Melbourne, Australia, for investment innovation. The fund has A$34 billion ($25.8 billion) of assets and was recognized for the development of its strategy and model work for participants, while at the same time working for broader societal benefits. The award was collected by Alexandra West, innovation and strategy manager.
- Al Meezan Investment Management Ltd., Karachi, Pakistan, for excellence in pension reform. CEO Mohammad Shoaib collected the award, which recognized the firm for the development of a voluntary plan for individuals in Pakistan. The plan was also the first Shariah-compliant solution in the country for retirement savings.
Additionally, the awards program's eight judges recognized two firms for special awards for excellence in innovation:
- Ibercaja Gestion was recognized for investment innovation. Oscar Del Diego, chief investment officer of the firm, accepted the award for managing the process of merging four pension funds sponsored by the same entity, thereby reducing complexity and costs.
- Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds, Westville, South Africa, for communication, investment and technology. CEO Sam Camilleri accepted the award. The pension funds were recognized for the introduction of a financial literacy program, work to improve participant behavior on contributions, and the move to a digital system of communication from paper-based.
Finalists in each of the categories also were recognized for their work:
- Kingfisher PLC, a finalist in the communication category. The London-based firm was recognized for its approach to addressing retirement challenges through an educational program.
- Health Employees Superannuation Trust of Australia, Melbourne, A$36 billion, ($27.3 billion) a finalist in the investment innovation category.
- Government Service Insurance System, Manila, Philippines, finalist in technology.
- Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology Pension Plan, Toronto, a finalist in pension reform, with C$8 billion ($6 billion) of assets.
The awards were presented by judges Don Ezra, independent adviser, Don Ezra Consulting Services and former co-chairman, global consulting at Russell Investments; Nikki Pirrello, group associate publisher, marketing and conferences at P&I; and Chris Battaglia, CEO of the WorldPensionSummit and vice president and group publisher of P&I.
Other judges were Lloyd Komori, senior vice president of risk management at the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Toronto; Mai Lam, director of international retirement at American Express; Terry McCredden, director at UCA Funds Management; Ton van der Linden, Benelux business services manager and treasurer at ExxonMobil, and Harry Smorenberg, founder of the WorldPensionSummit.