Aware Super, one of Australia's largest industry funds with about A$140 billion ($110.2 billion) in retirement assets, entered into merger talks with one of the country's smaller funds — the A$850 million Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund.
The two super funds signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the benefits of a potential merger, a joint news release said Tuesday. Due diligence has commenced and the process should finish "in the coming weeks."
A merger would keep Aware Super at the forefront of industry consolidation trends in Australia, coming less than a year after the Sydney-based fund absorbed A$4 billion WA Super, Perth, in December and A$24 billion VicSuper, Melbourne, in July.
The news release said the merger would provide "VISSF members with access to a diverse pool of investment opportunities," while bolstering Aware Super's scale in industrial sectors such as education and health.
Peter Sharples, VISSF chairman, in the news release cited regulatory reforms and increased compliance costs as a factor pushing his organization to seek economies of scale that could have a positive impact on "member fees, returns and ultimately long-term retirement savings."