SMSF Association appoints two Board members


The SMSF Association has recently appointed two new Board members.

They are Professor Deborah Ralston, a former Chair of the Association who stepped down in September 2019 on being appointed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to the three-member Retirement Income Review panel, and Bryan Ashenden, Head of Financial Literacy & Advocacy at BT, Westpac’s wealth management arm.

SMSF Association Chair Andrew Hamilton says: “We are delighted to be able to announce these two appointments. Deborah proved an invaluable Board member during her last stint, playing an important role in the public debate on a broad range of retirement incomes policy issues.

“Her many years of being involved in key public policy debates in the financial services industry, with a focus on innovation and retirement issues, is a resource that the Association will be able to tap again, and we look forward to hearing her wise counsel.

“Deborah is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Mercer CPA Global Pension Index. Aside from past academic roles, Deborah is a member of the Reserve Bank Payments System Board, and a non-executive director of Kaplan Business School, Kaplan Higher Education and SuperEd. Deborah was also the inaugural Chair of ASIC’s Digital Finance Advisory Board.

“Bryan’s primary focus at BT is to interpret legislative and regulatory change and distil this into meaningful actions for advisers, advice businesses, clients and consumers.

“A principal focus in this role is to assist building consumer trust in the advice process and supporting advisers in raising professional standards, a role that makes him eminently suitable for our Board at a point of time when the advice industry is undergoing major change.

“Aside from his BT role, Bryan is a lecturer on ethics and professionalism in financial advice and the economic and legal context for financial planning and is a member of various working groups at the Financial Services Council.”

Ralston says: “I found my previous time on the SMSF Association Board to be extremely fulfilling, so I was delighted to accept when asked to join again. As our work on the Retirement Income Review highlighted, we have many challenges ahead and I look forward to contributing to the debate, particularly as it affects the SMSF sector.”

Ashenden says: “I am honoured to be asked to join the Association’s Board. Having been a specialist member for the past decade, I am confident my experiences, especially my current role at BT interpreting legislative and regulatory change, equips me to make a meaningful contribution to the Association and the SMSF sector more broadly.”

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