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Big super funds urged to emulate AustralianSuper on Origin

Mike Taylor23 November 2023
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Melbourne-based fund manager, Datt Capital has backed Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund in its opposition to the takeover of Origin Energy,.

Datt Capital chief investment officer (CIO), Emanuel Datt has suggested that AustralianSuper’s position should be an exemplar to other major superannuation funds.

Commenting on the latest offer for Origin Energy by Brookfield, Datt said the new offer still materially undervalued the sum of parts valuation of Origin, “which is a high quality portfolio of energy assets including a fast growing global business in Octopus Energy”.

“AustralianSuper, one of Australia’s largest superfunds with $300 billion portfolio, continues to reject the bid. This is a welcome change as typically public superfunds have been passive onlookers on key M&A activities despite their outsized influence on local equity markets,” Datt said.

“For far too long superfunds have meekly stood on the sidelines, allowing many overseas investors to secure control of strategically important infrastructure assets within Australia. This also shows their lack of strategic vision in understanding the value of individual holdings, as they continue to outsource significant voting decisions and accountability to proxy advisors.”

“The contemporary, muscular approach by AustralianSuper is well overdue. This decision is consistent with the objectives of superannuation, which is a pool of long-duration investment monies that require long-term, sustainable holdings to support the needs of their fund members,” Datt said.

“Instead of dabbling in esoteric and risky investments such as venture capital and alternatives, superfunds should recognise and appreciate the value that exists right under their nose i.e supporting core assets and infrastructure,” Datt said.

“AustralianSuper’s decision reflects its alignment with members’ interests and the broader national interest in maintaining key assets and aiding energy transition.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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