So, John, let's get right to it. How can financial services find their superpower?
John I think the industry has always thought of itself as the superhero, and it’s becoming more obvious that it’s the other way around. The customer is the superhero and we need to give them the power to be successful. More broadly, across the tech space, it's all about building your product around the customer. I think that the financial services industry really needs to grasp that, and that's how we all collectively find our superpower.
You built Superhero to put more power in customers’ hands. Tell us about that.
John At the time, the clients I was advising had quite significant amounts of money in superannuation. It was all in a self-managed super fund which gave them full transparency and full control over what they could invest in. Everyone outside of the top 1% had no ability to to make those sorts of decisions. So I set out to build a superannuation fund, a retail super fund, which is not a new concept, but putting a share trading platform within it so that individuals could sign up and keep their super within that ecosystem. They could continue to get contributions from their employers, but choose where they invested to give them that control and also that transparency.
Why was it important to you to challenge the way things were done?
John Well, that's your money. Why don't the incumbents tell you where it's invested? In every other industry, even in financial services, fund managers have to disclose their investment holdings. Whether you're in the US, Australia or in the UK. It's legislation in Australia that super funds do not need to disclose their investment holdings. It's mind blowing. It's $3 trillion of people's retirement assets where they basically say, hand over your money, we'll take it from here, we're going to invest it for you, but we're not going to tell you what we invest it in. And sometimes they don't even tell you how much they're going to charge you for it. It doesn't make sense. So yeah, it doesn't take a huge amount of common sense to realise there's something wrong in that picture. And that's what we’re trying to change.