Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trustees urged to look longer term than the nation's leaders - ASFA Day 1 closing

In closing the day's proceedings, Dr Keith Suter countenanced three scenarios for the future world order - "business as usual", "break-up", "break-down" or "breakthrough".

In the "breakthrough" scenario, Australia is poised to make the most of a world in which both the economy and how we manage scarce resources are reinvented - to see the globe become both economically and environmentally more sustainable.

Speaking directly to those in the industry, Dr Suter argued that politicians in power, subject to the very short-term and immediate pressures of the 24/7 media cycle and electoral expediency, are unlikely to bring about longer term solutions or responses to these scenarios.  With politicians focused on the short-term issues that dominate the news cycle, at the expense of future-defining issues, then other decision makers must pay more attention to the less urgent but more important "bigger" issues.

The most dominant of these bigger issues is the start, for good or ill, of a new global economic era.

Against this dramatic backdrop, Dr Suter urged fund trustees to take the longer term, and arguably braver, view.  To look beyond existing paradigms to see what is, and what may be, and to plan for a number of very different scenarios.  

While the future may not be certain, the obligations of those in the industry are - to safeguard the long-term wealth of Australians.

Carden Calder is attending ASFA 2009 for BlueChip Communication Group. BlueChip is Australia’s leading financial services communication firm. We help “tell your story” through media, online pr, compelling content and other forms of communication - so the people who matter most want to do business with you.

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