Building a Fossil Free Super Company with Future Super Co-Founder, Kirstin Hunter
The Sachin and Adam Show
Kirstin Hunter is a co-founder of the super company Future Super, which manages over $900m of assets. Future Super focuses on creating a world without climate change and inequality, so they invest their assets into sustainable companies and ignore fossil fuels and harmful companies. Before Future Super she worked in management consulting at Bain & Co for six years and was also a solicitor at Freehills for two years. Kirstin studied arts/medicine/law at UNSW. Our conversation ranged on the topics of Kirstins years at university, what she learnt working in the corporate world, how her passions developed towards social justice and sustainability and her journey of co-founding Future Super. Book: The Great Gatsby. Podcast: Masters of Scale. Inspirational Figure: Jacinda Ardern.
Few of us realise that super funds own just under 40% of all the shares on the Australian stock market, making them the biggest shareholders in our biggest companies. Super funds have such a strong influence on all aspects of life in Australia, including the ability to divest from fossil-fueled industries, advocating for clean energy and contributing to a better future for all. This is where Kristin Hunter comes in. As the CEO of Future Super, Kristin is instigating change by using the power of money to improve our future lives. Future Super screens every company it invests in for gender equality, ethical practices and climate change assurances. We speak to Kristin about matching your philosophy to your lifestyle, how ethical investing performs and the difference it makes on the planet to invest ethically.
We can all act with more foresight to ensure the decisions we make today have a positive impact on the world we inherit tomorrow. Our conversation with for Future Super (for purpose Funds Manager) CEO Kirstin Hunter.
Better World Leaders
Every once in a while you come across a corporate leader who really makes you sit up and pay attention. Kirstin Hunter was one such example for me. And not because of a prestigious appointment, or a meteoric rise to prominence or a stellar investor presentation. I paid attention because of bravery, action in alignment with purpose and living ones’ values.I became aware of the organisation she is Managing Director of, Future Super, shortly before Kirstin came into view. Future Super stands out as a prominent advocate, if not activist, in for-purpose, impact-driven investment. Kirstin stands out for not just walking the walk, but shouting the talk of what they do and why they do what they do.Don’t get me wrong, typically you would find me using very different language to describe my emotions around the financial services and funds management industry, but this woman, this leader and this organisation are worthy of a different set of adjectives and verbs. As such, Kirstin’s mantra is most appropriate – deeds over words.Kirstin’s journey from lawyer to global management consultant to leading a purpose-led funds management company runs in defiance of the received wisdom of corporate careers, as does the approve the organisation she leads takes to investment – leading to a clean sweep of the highest performing funds in recent Australian industry results.This is a powerful conversation that proves two significant points – that everyone who has any retirement savings of any kind can apply them to do good and create the world we want to see. And that this sector, one that rightly attracts more ire and criticism than praise, has an enormous opportunity to follow Kirstin and Future Super’s lead and become a major force for good. The Australian retirement investment industry is the 4th largest investment pool in the world, currently valued at over $2.7trillion AUD. Imagine the projects that could fund. The full transition to renewable energy for a start, which would require just 7.7% of total funds invested by the Australian superannuation industry.Key out-takes from this episode;- Financial services is not an industry that you’d typically associate with strongly purpose-orientated people – but perhaps it will be soon!- Future Super’s performance proves that it is not only possible, but beneficial to think about both purpose and profit in investing.- This success is not just about the positive return to members from the funds managed, it’s about inspiring positive change in the industry to compound a greater force for good.- Let’s put that into context. Research cited by Kirstin indicates that to fully transition Australia to renewable energy would require the investment of just 7.7% of the funds currently invested by Australian retirement funds.- The received wisdom in the investment industry in Australia is that you can’t generate consistent member returns without investing in fossil fuels. Well, it turns out you can.- In fact, during times of volatility, ethical funds have significantly out-performed conventionally invested funds.- Being purpose orientated cannot just be marketing spin, not just the words on the wall, it must be reflected in all your interactions with all of your stakeholders.- One of Future Super’s philosophies is that they invest by doing.- However, let’s not scare anyone off here. You don’t have to change the way you work to lead with purpose. All of us have the opportunity to bring purpose into our daily lives.- Anyone can ask a question of their organisation around purpose, and there’s a lot of power in that. Ask what it would mean if your organisation really meant what they say they mean. Ask who is going to judge us against what we say around purpose.- Similarly with engagement. Engagement is meaningless if you don’t actually engage.- Both of these elements come down to a question of bravery. Initially, are you brave enough to reimagine the world you want to see? Then, make all decisions based on progress towards the world we want to see.- We can sit and blame the system. Or we can change the system. The system is nothing but the collection of all of our outcomes.- Deeds not words. Show your purpose through your actions.- Begin by asking what you control, and then changing what you can control to put you on the path towards the world you want to see.- All of can act with more foresight to make sure the decisions we make today have a positive impact on the world we want to inherit tomorrow.Additional resources mentioned today…UTS report on 7.7% of Australian’s Super can enable the transition to clean energy - https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/institute-sustainable-futures/our-research/energy-and-climate/supercharging-clean-energyGet in touch with Kirstin via any of these points of contact;The Future Super website - https://www.futuresuper.com.au/Kirstin’s LinkedIn profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstinhunter/As always, great thanks and appreciation to the team who contributed to bringing Better World Leaders to you;To Brendan Ward for production of all audio recordings and composition and performance of original music throughout each episode.To Cooper and the team at RadioHub studios for technical support and creative guidance during the episodes that are recorded face-to-face. You can find out about Radio Hub’s services here - https://www.radiohub.com.au/To NokNok Studios for website design, hosting and advice. Find out about NokNok’s awesome services here - https://www.facebook.com/NOKNOKstudios/To Cirasa Design for logo and site graphics – Find our about Cirasa’s inspiring work hereYou’ll find audio and video recordings for this episode, as well as links to any specific recommendations or related resources mentioned today in the podcast area of 4ileadership.com/insightsThis is the Better World Leaders, brought to you by 4iLeadership
As MD of Future Super, Kirstin Hunter shares how they designed a purpose framework to help guide their decision making during times of crisis. Over the course of this conversation we cover: Future Super's Leadership Crises Framework How purpose drives action Investing as a tool for social impact Living your organisation's purpose in your role Links from this episode: This Is Not Business As Usual Movement: https://www.notbusinessasusual.co/ UNPRI (Principles For Responsible Investment) COVID-19 Response Resources: https://www.unpri.org/covid-19 Future Super’s Detailed Response to COVID-19: https://www.futuresuper.com.au/blog/covid-19-response – Get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Kirstin is the Managing Director at Future Super where she is leading the movement to use the power of money to invest, advocate and campaign for a future worth retiring into. Kirstin began her career as a Solicitor at Freehills before moving to Bain & Company where she specialised in financial services strategy, working for clients in banking, insurance and wealth management in Australia and Canada. She has done pro-bono work for non-profits and founded Aussie Babywearers for Refugees.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
44 · ADAM VERWEY & KIRSTIN HUNTER · SUPER FOR OUR FUTURE
The Sustainable Jungle Podcast
Adam has a long history in ethical investment, with an expertise in superannuation, ESG (environmental, social and governance) research and constructing ethical sharemarket indices. He leads the ethical investment team at Future Super and is a member of the Investment Committee. Prior to founding Future Super, Adam spent almost 10 years at Australian Ethical Investment as a senior manager in business development and marketing. He is a director at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, an organisation dedicated to shareholder advocacy and engagement. Adam is also the portfolio manager for the Thomson Reuters Australian Fossil Fuel Free Index, and a member of the Responsible Investment Committee for the Betashares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF and Betashares Australian Sustainability Leaders ETF. Kirstin is the Managing Director at Future Super where she is leading the movement to use the power of money to invest, advocate and campaign for a future worth retiring into. Kirstin began her career as a Solicitor at Freehills before moving to Bain & Company where she specialised in financial services strategy, working for clients in banking, insurance and wealth management in Australia and Canada. She has done pro-bono work for non-profits including the Aboriginal Trust Fund Remuneration Scheme, OzHarvest and Whitelion, chaired the board of the Youth Food Movement Australia, and founded Aussie Babywearers for Refugees. In this episode, we talk about the power of money and how your retirement investments can contribute in a massive way to changing the world for the better… and how simple and easy it is to do just that. We also cover Future Super’s leading approach to building an incredible team, what they’re doing to promote a fair, inclusive and enjoyable workplace and how they’re driving change, not only through investing members funds but also out on the streets. ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Find the show notes here ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ *** SOCIALIZE WITH US *** Website Instagram Facebook Twitter YouTube