Griffith professor wins top finance award

Professor Michael Drew’s role in the evolution of Australia’s superannuation system has been highlighted with a prestigious FINSIA Pinnacle Award in the category of Most Outstanding Thought Leader.

The Professor of Finance in the Griffith Business School received his award at a gala Sydney dinner hosted by the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, marking the peak industry body’s 125th anniversary.

“I have had the pleasure to work in the financial services industry for the past two decades and in this time I have seen the genesis of an idea for compulsory retirement savings develop into Australia’s superannuation system,” Professor Drew said.

“To be part of the ongoing academic, policy and industry debate has been a highlight of my professional life.”

Professor Drew’s PhD thesis was one of the first in Australia to evaluate the performance of superannuation funds.

It has since formed the basis for an ongoing research agenda in superannuation, exploring how superannuation can efficiently and effectively transform retirement savings into retirement income for Australians.

“Superannuation is now, after the family home, the most important financial asset for many Australians and is a major driver for economic prosperity,” Professor Drew said.

“Today, Australia has around $1.3 trillion in superannuation savings, and seen the rise of the fourth largest management industry in the world.

“The wave of baby boomers retiring over the coming years will place further demands on our financial services industry and require innovation to manage the risks of inflation and longevity during the retirement phase.

“Griffith University’s finance and financial planning programs are well placed to train the next generation of professionals for the financial services industry.”

Professor Drew was among 11 financial services industry leaders nominated in the Most Outstanding Thought Leader category, which targets industry experts who have demonstrated originality and vision and possess an insightful understanding of the industry and its broader environment.

“I am honoured to be acknowledged by FINSIA and to be in the company of such accomplished leaders from across the financial services industry,” Professor Drew said.