Australia's highest paid industry super executives named


Australia's highest paid industry super executives have been revealed in an analysis obtained by Money sister publication, Financial Standard.

AustralianSuper chief investment officer Mark Delaney was the top earner, receiving over $2 million in total compensation, according to research from professional services firm Yellow Folder.

UniSuper chief investment officer John Pearce and Aware Super chief investment officer Damian Graham ranked second and third, respectively, with no change in the top three from the previous year.

australia's highest paid industry super executives revealed

Meanwhile, Hostplus chief executive David Elia and AustralianSuper chief executive Paul Schroder placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Yellow Folder managing director Julian Doherty noted that while fund size significantly influences executive pay, the correlation isn't direct.

For instance, Australian Retirement Trust chief investment officer Ian Patrick earned $1.2 million, ranking 11th, even though the fund is Australia's second largest.

Further analysis showed that the top 25 highest-paid executives of industry super funds collectively received $28.5 million in total compensation for the 2023 financial year, averaging $1.1 million each.

Of this, variable remuneration, including incentive-based pay, constituted 22.4% or $6.4 million.

Variable remuneration was also weighted towards short term incentives, with 19 of the 25 executives receiving them.

Despite lagging chief investment officers on total pay, chief executives enjoyed some strong gains in remuneration from the financial year 2022 to financial year 2023. Among the top 10, Hostplus' Elia saw a 16.3% rise, Aware Super chief executive Deanne Stewart enjoyed a 20.1% increase, while HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey led with a 25.8% jump.

Interestingly, unlike most other large industry super funds, Hostplus compensated its chief executive $271,700 more than its chief investment officer Sam Sicilia in total remuneration.

Also noteworthy, AustralianSuper chief operating officer Peter Curtis earned $1 million, making him the highest-paid non-chief executive or chief investment officer.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard 

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Andrew McKean is a journalist at Financial Standard. He covers superannuation, wealth management and financial advice. Prior to this he has worked freelance for not-for-profit organisations and corporate educators. Andrew has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and non-fiction writing from Macquarie University. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.
maree bowker
February 12, 2024 3.59pm

How can they justify their salaries? I would like to know on what basis do they justify what they make an year and what value the people who have retirement funds invested get? If these funds are for the members benefits how did these salaries get so high? Thanks for calling it out maybe we need to understand are we getting value for our money ?