This article reports on a series of interviews with superannuation fund directors that examine how director independence is framed, viewed and operationalised in the superannuation context. The interviews highlight the interaction between structural independence rules and other familiar governance issues, such as remuneration, nomination and board tenure arrangements. The role and potential for independence to address conflicts of interest, skills and diversity issues is also discussed. The paper concludes that independence reforms such as those envisaged in recent government proposals have the potential to deal with some of the governance shortfalls present in the various sectors of the superannuation system, but only if carefully drafted and appropriately buttressed with ancillary regulation.
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