Leading superannuation fund Prime Super is the principal partner and long-time supporter of the RCSA.
The Brief sat down with Regional Manager Mark Redman, based in Sydney, to discuss his personal life, his career and the superannuation challenges facing RCSA members during the COVID-19 crisis. Watch Mark's video here
Q: You have an extensive background in recruitment and executive search - tell us about your professional career to date. How did you get into the superannuation game?
I grew up in Zimbabwe and in 2006, after a few years in the UK working in the Armed Forces, I moved to Australia. I was sold “the recruitment dream” whilst interviewing for another role by a recruiter and never looked back. I spent 12 years recruiting across Wealth Management and Superannuation for some fantastic firms and have spent some of the best and some of the toughest days of my working career riding the recruitment rollercoaster.
During my recruitment career I developed a real passion for the superannuation industry and the great work it does. So, when I visited Prime Super to pick up a job mandate to recruit and ended up being the perfect fit for the role, it seemed like fate had made an intervention.
I love being able to help recruiters understand how superannuation can help them achieve the best retirement outcome from their lifetime of work.
Q: Coronavirus has thrown the economy a large curveball. As a regional manager of Prime Super, what is your key role in dealing with the situation?
I’ve needed to think outside the square and come up with ways to add additional value to my clients and members. It has been really rewarding to be able to help individuals navigate through times of uncertainty and confusion. We have been proactively contacting our member base to reassure them Prime Super is very much open for business here to help and assist them in any way possible.
The last few months have been some of the most confronting times people have ever experienced and I have had some pretty difficult conversations. Some of our members are doing it tough and, to be honest, there have been a few occasions where I have had to take myself for a walk around the block before picking up the phone again. The resilience of people has shone through and has left me extremely humbled and grateful.
Q: What is the most common question from members and what is the main piece of
advice you have been offering them?
One question I am getting a lot and during this period of market volatility is: “Is now the time to go to cash?”.
In my experience, market timing (trying to predict the market) can be a high risk, low return investment strategy. I would say, looking at the long-term is a better way to maximise returns for investors with a longer-term investment horizon.
We offer financial advice to our members across several different mediums which is included as part of your membership. My advice would be, if you are unsure then talk to a professional.
Q: How do you see the superannuation world after Coronavirus?
I think the world of superannuation, along with most other industries, will certainly see changes to pre-COVID operating models. Super funds will need to be more flexible, agile and resilient in both their technology as well as their operating model to remain competitive.
Funds will need to be more forward thinking than ever. Those that welcome innovation and change will likely reap the benefits, while those that are more insular in thinking will likely find things tough.
The desire to differentiate and add value will certainly spark a shift in how funds engage with their members, which may see an uptake in the use of AI, digital and automation. The way in which funds use data to understand their member base and engage appropriately will certainly change, as will the willingness to adopt an innovative and transformative culture.
Keeping up with regulatory change will certainly continue to have its challenges, but hopefully most funds will come out of this stronger and with an extremely loyal member base. I know Prime Super will.
Q: What do you love about your job?
Let’s be honest, super isn’t the sexiest topic out there, but I get a massive buzz from running an education session with recruiters and seeing light bulbs go off around the room once they understand just how vital it is to get their super and insurance in order.
Getting your financial house in order isn’t complicated and the outcome is significant, once you have the knowledge and a few insider tips!
I love sitting down with a business owner and helping them to understand that having their super with the right fund can be a significant employee benefit and can help add tangible value to their bottom line.
The team at Prime Super must be some of the most customer-centric and collaborative individuals I have ever worked with. Prime Super members can rest easy knowing their retirement savings are looked after by some of the most capable people in the industry, who so happen to be a bunch of bloody legends too!
Q: Why do you enjoy working with RCSA and our member base?
The RCSA team are a bunch of absolute superstars and it’s a privilege to work alongside them. They have an absolute dedication to the industry and our partnership has allowed us to get to the coal face of the changing nature of work. I am passionate about super and the important work recruiters do, a combination which makes my role enjoyable and rewarding in equal measure.
I don’t mind the odd game of beach cricket with Charles Cameron either… although his cricketing ability is questionable.
Q: Tell us about Mark Redman away from work. Your family, hobbies etc?
I have two amazing kids; Zac is 11 and Isla is eight. Working from home, along with the rest of Australia, for the past few months has allowed me to spend some amazing quality time with them. Although I have to be honest and say I am looking forward to them going back to school. I have a newfound respect for teachers as home schooling and working full-time has definitely made things interesting! I never thought I would have to look at another long division calculation again…
I love keeping fit and active and both play and coach rugby union. The beach, rugby field or the gym are my happy places and I am learning to surf (badly). Weekends will see me with friends and the kids at a barbecue or at the beach or the three of us cruising on our bikes through the National Park. I like to cook and can proudly boast “Dads special spag bol” as being one of the best meals out there, according to my daughter.