Media Super slams infrastructure critics

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Industry super fund CEO Graeme Russell has come out swinging against critics of super funds investing in illiquid assets, describing the comments as “politically motivated rubbish”.

Reaping rewards: Graeme Russell, CEO Media Super. 
Infrastructure investment reaping rewards: Graeme Russell, CEO Media Super.

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg was among those who questioned whether industry funds should own toll roads, airports, energy, and telecoms, at a time when hundreds of thousands of people may be looking to access some of their super due to the Covid-19 impact on their finances.

However, the Media Super CEO was quoted in Nine Media over the weekend defending the investment in illiquid assets, saying they provided superior returns, and were a counterweight to the volatility of share assets.

Media Super's own infrastructure assets returned 10 per cent over the past three years, compared with 9.13 per cent from its Australian shares. Speaking to Print21 last year Russell said its investment in infrastructure is one of the key reasons for the ongoing success of the fund, and part of the reason why industry super funds consistently outperform bank funds.

Media Super has had a long-term strategy of infrastructure investment, and it is one of the reasons Russell credits with the ongoing success of the fund – which a significant number of printers belong to – and which saw it reach third spot out of 187 super funds last year.

Part of the government's assistance package will enable people to access up to $20,000 from their super, which no-one ion the industry had considered prior to March. Russell said that while the impact of large numbers of people unexpectedly having access to their super would be “significant” it would not be problematic.

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