Active Super debuts member investment data visualisation

Superannuation firm claims it's going beyond legislative requirements to provide members with even more transparency around investments, asset classes and voting

Active Super is looking to up the ante on member engagement with a new online data visualisation tool providing greater transparency on how and where a member’s money is being invested.

The superannuation firm said the data visualisation tool complements, but is separate to, the recent introduction of new government rules requiring superannuation funds to disclose their investment portfolio holdings to members. It’s also the next step in a digital-led strategy to improve active engagement with members and comes after the launch of Active Super’s new member online portal and native app last year.

Using the tool, members can see the identity, value and weighting of their investments across a range of asset classes and derivatives, including unlisted assets. Users can drill down from either an asset class or regional level to sector-specific industries and companies, as well as see how Active Super voted at the annual general meeting of companies in which it invests. Figures will be updated monthly, rather than every six months as required under legislation.

“In addition to providing detailed portfolio information and data that is now required under the new regulations, Active Super has gone one step further by offering members a proprietary online data visualisation platform,” Active Super CEO, Phil Stockwell, said.

“We asked some of our members what investment data they wanted represented in a visually rich manner. Most responded by requesting to see the exposure of global investments and the ability to easily see the industries and companies the fund invests in.”

Active Super chief member experience and growth officer, Chantal Walker, said the data visualisation tool was a step forward in using multi-channel capabilities and data insight to improve member experiences and engagement. The visualisation tool was developed in partnership with digital agency, Deepend Group.

To make the tool a reality, Walker’s team worked across the organisation to bring datasets to life, including investment operations, marketing, digital and member care. She said her team also facilitated collaboration between Deepend and investment data service provider, ICS.

“Our responsible investment strategy means we work hard to assess and manage the ESG risks to our investments and we push for positive change through active ownership,” Walker continued. “We wanted this to be somehow captured in the tool, so we had lots of discussions and debates about how this could be achieved.

“As part of our transparent approach to our investments, we have been publishing our proxy voting on our website for years and we are one of the few super funds to disclose our voting intentions before AGMs. We wanted to make it easy for people to search our voting disclosure.” 

An unexpected benefit from building out the data visualisation tool for members has been how helpful it is to staff internally.

 “We have found it is being used extensively internally too, as an easy way to see an augmented view of our product holdings, rather than having to look at multiple spreadsheets,” Walker said. “It also keeps us abreast of what members are interested in which could potentially inform future investment decisions. In addition, it is helping inform our content strategy as to what we highlight to members. In effect, it is like having a member panel with real-time insights.”

Long-term success for Walker is all about member engagement. “That is our primary measure of success as we strive to continue to bring our brands to life from the inside out by giving members easy ways to get active with their super, no matter their age or what life stage they are,” she said.

In the short term, Active Super plans to build upon the beta version and learn from how members use it to increase the level of transparency across equities and all asset classes. 

“Combining several live data sets allows us to present Active Super’s investment portfolio in a truly member-focused and interactive manner. It is a great example of Active Super openly embracing its key brand proposition of transparency and we are proud to have played a key part in this ground-breaking project,” Deepend managing partner, Chris Crammond, said.

Other ways Active Super is looking to improve engagement and value for members is through its Active Super Booster program in May. This provides signed-up members with rewards for shopping at partner retailers in the form of non-concessional super contributions.

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