Mercer Takes Charge of Virgin Money Super

In a landmark move, Mercer has completed a takeover of Virgin Super’s $540 million retirement scheme.

Virgin Super’s 20,000 members are now in the hands of global consulting and investment group Mercer, following a transfer of Virgin Super into the $21 billion Mercer Super Trust.

According to Fairfax, this means Virgin Super members will receive a reduction in their total fee bill, dropping from $553/year to $333/year for a $50,000 account balance.

Virgin Money will have access to Mercer’s innovative member insights platform, Mercer Edge – a data-driven program that vastly increases a fund’s understanding of its members.

Since 2015, Mercer has been providing Virgin Money with administration services, and now it takes over the trusteeship and asset management of their funds.

But the Virgin branding will be retained under a joint marketing arrangement between the two companies.

The move marks the first ever white labelling of a MySuper product.

It also highlights Mercer’s growing interests in Australia’s trillion-dollar super system, with the global firm recently acquiring Pillar Administration – a superannuation consultancy company.

Why Mercer took over Virgin Super

Mercer’s Financial Services Business Leader, Andrew Godfrey, said partnering with a strong, direct-to-consumer brand (Virgin) is a strategic expansion for the future of Mercers’ wealth business.

“Partnering with one of the world’s most iconic brands allows both Mercer and Virgin Money to leverage the best capabilities from each organisation,” he said.

“It also provides a new opportunity for significant growth in Mercer’s superannuation business, opening up a direct-to-consumer offering and the potential for us to service the micro, and small to medium employer markets.”

Why Virgin Money partnered with Mercer

General Manager of wealth and insurance at Virgin Money, Chris Sozou, told Fairfax they felt Virgin Super had fallen behind on fund features, pricing and value for money.

But Greg Boyle, CEO of Virgin Money Australia, said the partnership with Mercer combined Virgin Money’s commitment to simple and rewarding financial products, with Mercer’s industry-leading customer experience offerings and cutting edge digital capabilities.

“Virgin Money Super is about helping our customers retire comfortably and look forward to a bigger future. This partnership provides our customers with access to a market-leading superannuation offering, which meets our commitment to delivering low-cost, high-value financial solutions,” he said.

“We know super is complex, so Virgin Money Super allows customers to take as much control as they are comfortable with – you can create your own blend of investment options , or we’ll do it for you.

“Our customers are tech-savvy and will appreciate the next-generation digital experiences made possible by Mercer – allowing them to see their retirement savings in a whole new light.”

The new Virgin Money Super will be publicly launched in early 2017.

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