Professor Deborah Ralston has been announced as the new chair of the SMSF Association.
Professor Ralston will take over from Andrew Gale at the end of the Association’s National Conference, which is currently being held in Sydney and ends on Friday. Gale will remain a director and Robin Bowerman, Vanguard’s Head of Market Strategy & Communications, 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,” said the Association, announcing the appointment.
“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.”
Professor Ralston, who has served on the Association’s board since July 2016, said that it’s an honour to have the opportunity to chair the SMSF Association.
“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.”
Current chair Andrew Gale told the SMSF Association National Conference: “It was quite a coup in July 2016 for us to recruit such an experienced director, superannuation and public policy expert, and distinguished academic as Deborah.”
“Since joining the board, she has added enormous value to our deliberations, both on the Board and public policy committee, sharing her vast knowledge of financial services research and strategy, and digital finance innovation.”
“It has been a great privilege to be chairing a high performing board, with highly credentialed and collegial board colleagues. I thank and acknowledge my board colleagues for their excellent and selfless contributions.”