Brisbane-based superannuation funds QSuper and Sunsuper said Monday they are holding discussions about a potential partnership.
A combination of QSuper, with more than A$113 billion ($78.1 billion) in funds under administration on behalf of 585,000 members, and Sunsuper, with more than A$70 billion in funds under management for 1.4 million members, would create a retirement-savings giant with more than A$180 billion — eclipsing current industry leader AusralianSuper's A$170 billion in assets.
The two funds "are engaged in preliminary, non-binding discussions about a possible partnership," according to a joint news release.
Monday's news is the latest and most prominent sign that calls at the start of the year for industry consolidation by two high-profile government commissions are bearing fruit.
There's an "absolute responsibility upon trustees to consider how to best serve their members' interests," said QSuper Chairman Karl Morris and Sunsuper Chairman Andrew Fraser in the news release.
At the same time, the executives also cautioned that whether discussions proceed beyond the current preliminaries will depend on several factors.
A number of mergers have already been announced or completed this year, but in many cases they have involved a sizable fund absorbing a much smaller fund.
Talks between QSuper and Sunsuper, by contrast, involve two funds that already boast considerable economies of scale and have reputations for strong investment cultures.