Best of the Best 2024: Best Super Fund
Hostplus has been named Money's Super Fund of the Year as part of the Best of the Best awards.
With an enviable track record of scoring good returns in all sorts of markets, Hostplus sits at the top of superannuation performance tables over 20, 15, 10, seven and five years, as well as 12 months.
"Hostplus just keeps going from strength to strength," says David Elia, who has been CEO for 20 years.
How has Hostplus grown?
Membership and assets have grown strongly, helped by five funds merging over the past four years.
The bigger scale helps it lower costs, with all profits going to members, not shareholders.
Is Hostplus just for hospitality workers?
Originally set up as the super fund for hospitality and tourism, Hostplus now has more members from outside the hospitality and tourism sector, says Elia. The average age is climbing, currently sitting at 42.
"It tells us that members are loyal and are staying with the fund," he says.
Hostplus members have been rewarded by an investment approach that differentiates it from other big funds.
Where does Hostplus invest?
It has more than 50% of member assets in unlisted investments, often those that benefit from a long-term approach, such as emerging companies, infrastructure, property, private equity and national building projects. These suit the longer-term investment horizon of around 20 to 30 years that its members have.
Hostplus has been a major backer of early-stage businesses here and around the world and has around $3 billion in venture capital investments.
It has invested in the graphic design software company Canva, which has gone from a small start-up to a tech super company valued at $40 billion. It has made Hostplus members a great deal of money, says Elia.
The fund's investments in start-ups and other ground-breaking companies include Gilmour Space, which is working to provide affordable space launch services to the world's fast-growing small satellite industry.
As well there is SafetyCulture (iAuditor), which has an app for safety inspections that is used in more than 85 countries, allowing teams to photograph hazards, report near-misses and alert others about potential risks.
Hysata is an Australian company developing world-leading electrolyser technology to produce green hydrogen, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
Hostplus outsources all its investing to external managers with the expertise in these areas rather than doing it in-house.
Elia says that keeping fees low is critical because it helps deliver higher returns for members.
"The fund's commitment to low fees, along with strong investment performance, is a real testament to our dedication to deliver value for our members consistently over the long term."
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