Australian Institute of Company Directors General Manager Advocacy, Louise Petschler, said the Fraser review into independent directors was clearly not independent itself. “This review was an opportunity to look at what good governance for industry super funds looks like, and it has failed to do so, focusing instead on attacking the government’s legislation,” she said.

“The long overdue and rather brief report has not advanced the discussion, merely delayed the debate.

“Independent directors are widely recognised as a critical element of good corporate governance.

“Indeed, the importance of independence is recognised in the ASX Corporate Governance Council guidelines that apply to the listed companies that these superannuation funds themselves invest in.

“Research shows that balanced boards, that is, those with between 30% and 60% of independent directors, outperform others.

“Surely we want the organisations that are responsible for protecting people’s retirement funds to have the best governance standards possible.

“Good governance practices, including board independence, provide for the long-term stability, sustainability, transparency and profitability of an entity.”

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