Catholic super fund exec’s conflict of interest

A senior executive of the Catholic Super Fund (CSF) has fallen foul of the Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

The Royal Commission, which was established last December, heard Robert Clancy had taken five years to admit he had a family relationship with the principles of Australian Family Network, to which the CSF had paid $2 million for consultancy and other services.

Another conflict between Clancy and the Australian Family Network was not disclosed until last month, when it emerged that the owner of Australian Family Network is Robert’s brother, Paul.

The relationship pertained to Australian Family Network and Paul Clancy Pty Ltd.

The Royal Commission heard Clancy disclosed confidential information about the superannuation fund to Paul, and the two communicated via email about business matters as recently as 29 May this year.

In some cases the brothers approved payments despite a decision in 2010 that only chief executive Frank Pegan would deal with the Australian Family Network.

Robert Clancy is on leave from the CSF while the matter is being investigated and his company credit card has been suspended.

The deputy chairman of CSF, Peter Haysey, told the Royal Commission the Australian Family Network and Clancy had provided services to CSF with respect to growing member numbers.

He said there were a number of different elements of the relationships in circumstances where CSF had identified the early education space as a potential growth area.

Haysey agreed that Clancy should have disclosed the family relationship earlier in the process and that substantial amounts had been paid before that disclosure was made in May 2015.

The Royal Commission was told that $1.5 million had been paid by CSF with respect to consultancy services and $500,000 relating to the fund’s sponsorship of the Early Education and Child Care Awards.

Haysey also told the Royal Commission that a policy on the use of corporate cards had been breached at CSF and unauthorised expenses of $46,000 were made on Robert Clancy’s card between 2013 and 2016.

These expenses have since been repaid but there may be more. Staff have long been allowed to make personal purchases on their corporate cards and then repay the money.

An independent review into the matter has been commissioned by CSF and will be completed by the end of this month.


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