So events such as this week’s Pacific Islands Investment Forum are vital in opening up opportunities for superannuation funds in the region to work together in achieving their goals, he says.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day forum held behind closed doors at the National Auditorium on Monday, Matysik said the fund relied on outside expertise and advice to assist in the critical task of looking after members’ interests and their funds and investment.
“For many funds like the Cook Islands National Superannuation Fund, our size (both in terms of the fund and the population of our country), as well as our geographic isolation, means that we do not have the human and other resources that are a ‘given’ in other countries and regions of the world,” Matysik said.
“Members of boards like ours are comprised wholly of lay people without specific superannuation or investment experience or expertise.
“A forum such as this gives us the opportunity to meet people with such expertise as well as share experiences with other funds who face similar challenges.
“As our funds grow, so does the weight of responsibility for looking after what has been entrusted to us and the need to understand the corresponding duties and obligations and what is required to discharge those.”
The forum’s aims and the push for further co-operation and collaboration in the region was invaluable for members such as the Cook Islands, Matysik said.
The meeting provided potential support networks of people and organisations that shared the same or similar goals and values, he added.
The local barrister said the people of the Pacific shared certain values and ways of doing things.
“It is these shared values and beliefs that we must look to in a changing world. These changes have only become more pronounced in the last couple of years and continue at a rapid rate.
“The problem for all countries in times of change is dealing with the consequences of decisions made elsewhere and without our input. Consequences which impact us both on a national level and a regional level.”
Matysik praised the proposal for co-investment between the government and superannuation funds in the Pacific on key infrastructure projects.
“If we are able to leverage such investment across our region then we may be able to achieve economies of scale and rewards that would not otherwise be possible for any one fund acting alone.
“This forum is a starting point in looking at ways this might be achieved and exploring such opportunities together.
“I appreciate that co-investment amongst many different funds with different mandates will not be a task easily achieved. But it is not an impossible goal.”
The forum, attended by 50 top officials representing 20 funds from 14 countries across the Pacific, worth $70 billion, will close today.