SMSF Association Media Release
14 February 2018
The SMSF Association has announced the appointment of Professor Deborah Ralston as its new chairperson, effective from the end of this year’s National Conference.
Prof Ralston, who joined the board in July 2016, takes over from Andrew Gale, who will remain a director. Vanguard’s Head of Market Strategy & Communications, Robin Bowerman, will remain deputy chair.
Ralston brings an illustrious academic career and longstanding role as a company director in the private and public sectors, with a strong background in innovation and start-ups, to the position.
Boasting a Master of Economics from the University of New England and a Ph.D from Bond University, she is a recognised authority in financial services research and strategy, with a particular capability in superannuation, financial regulation and digital finance innovation.
She has also published widely in these areas, completed research consultancies with major corporations, and worked extensively with start-ups.
Gale says the Association was delighted when Ralston accepted its invitation to join the Board, and her contributions since, both as a director and on the Public Policy Committee, have been invaluable in what has been an exacting period for the Association and the SMSF sector following the major changes to the superannuation legislative framework in 2016.
“Deborah brings to the table her vast knowledge of financial services research and strategy, with its special focus on superannuation, financial regulation and digital finance innovation.
“Coupled with a deep pedigree in public policy, especially in the role of leading the Monash-based Australian Centre for Financial Studies, she is an experienced company director in the private and public sectors, with board appointments including the Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board, the publicly listed Mortgage Choice, and the YBR FinTech Hub Advisory Board.”
Ralston says: “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to chair this organisation for the next two years.
“Since its inception 15 years ago, this organisation has never strayed from its core belief that every Australian has the right to a good quality of life in retirement and that every Australian has the right to control their own retirement destiny.
“This is the proud legacy I have been bequeathed, and it’s one that I will nurture, in partnership with the Board, Executive team and members, during my two-year stewardship.”