Client Partnerships Manager Joanne Fenton draws on her 30 years’ in the super industry to help HESTA members make the most of their financial future
Joanne (Jo) Fenton has spent almost her entire career working in the super industry. She began when compulsory super was introduced and employer contributions were just 3 per cent. “I was always keen on numbers and calculations and back then; the industry was very manual with regard to calculating members’ benefits, so it was a great fit for me,” says Jo.
Jo’s current role is the HESTA Team Leader for Client Partnerships in Queensland and the Northern Territory. She has also previously worked in Western Australia and Tasmania as a Member Education Manager and Superannuation Adviser.
“As a Partnerships Manager, I talk to the employers of HESTA members about how we can help their staff to achieve better outcomes for their super. I’m able to provide examples to employers of where this can change members’ lives, sometimes in a time of need,” says Jo.
Times of need
A while ago Jo provided advice to a HESTA member about customising her income protection insurance. Some time after, the member had a stroke and has had to rely on that insurance to get by. The member and her family have since been in touch with Jo to say how thankful they are for Jo’s advice to protect the member's income and alleviate financial pressure.
“There is a real need to ensure that women are engaged in their financial situation. I often wonder, if I had not worked in the superannuation industry at the start of my career, how much would I know about my own super now?” says Jo.
“Often our members are anxious about what their future may look like and their understanding of the system. We see circumstances of divorce, where a member has not had any exposure to many facets of their finances and then needs to take control. This makes the challenge for them a big one at an already very stressful time,” says Jo.
“My job is to reassure our members and give them the knowledge and advice to provide certainty, partly towards their future and also the now, such as having adequate insurance in case of an illness or injury.
“I love that we can help make our members feel more confident about their super, whether it’s about retirement, adding extra to their account, investments or insurance. To see a member’s face go from anxious to understanding and comfort is one of the best things we can do,” says Jo.