Life after politics for Sherry also good news for FNZ, Citi


Former Minister for Superannuation and Senate Select Committee member and chair, Nick Sherry, has picked up two non-executive roles in the industry, which already appear to be paying dividends, writes Patrick Liddy*:

The platform provider FNZ made a shrewd investment when it appointed the ex Federal Minister, Nick Sherry, as its chairman. Citi was also canny in getting him to become a non-executive director, with responsibility for “Pensions”. The fortunes of both companies have subsequently improved.

FNZ, for instance, has won some ‘marvelous’ mandates – Australian Super, Host Plus and Telstra Super. It has also been active in the non-super world, winning new business from NAB, AMP, ANZ and One Path.

Citibank has just landed the $35 billion Challenger account. (Not that it is about one person. The Head of Citibank’s Sales, David Edwards, is probably one of the pluckiest and talented guys in the business.)

Sherry undoubtedly knows his stuff when it comes to superannuation. Never afraid of an audience and its questions, he is able to call on a lot of experience from the ground level, too. He started his working life as a night cashier and auditor at the Wrest Point Hotel and Casino in Hobart. Sherry also helped establish the HostPlus Superannuation Fund, an industry superannuation fund for hospitality industry workers, with over $7 billion under management.

Sherry held the position of trustee of HostPlus from 1987–1990 and was also a trustee, manager, and company secretary of ClubPlus Superannuation fund. This and his experience in government gave him a thorough understanding of the business.

Coupled with this, Nick also has an interesting personal side. On meeting him for dinner, the first thing we notice is that he is late. Not that it mattered greatly as I was with his former chief of staff, Peter Downes, and we had decided to order.

Peter, who is also doing some work for FNZ, which is no coincidence, is one of those people who gets things done. He also has a large capacity for work and an even larger note book. Now this book, and it is hand written, keeps tabs on all things. I suspect the one from government makes very interesting reading.  When he is in the mood and has the right company, he has lots of stories to tell about the formative years of the politics of super.

When Nick arrives we get down to business and, of course, a very entertaining dinner.

*Patrick Liddy is an implementation and efficiency adviser who consults to FNZ. He is also involved in the IO&C Conference.