Back to Index

#099: Garry Weaven – The “Godfather of Industry Super”

By Jordan Michaelides

Garry Weaven is the former Chairman & Founder of IFM Investors, former Chairman of Industry Super, and has served as Board Member or Executive for multiple organisations including ME Bank, the New Daily, Pacific Hydro & the ACTU. He’s also known as Australia’s “Godfather of Industry Super”, which is difficult to tell whether it’s a compliment or not.

Bernard Wheelahan was kind enough to introduce me to Garry when I asked who he’d recommend as a guest. He immediately called me to talk about Garry and his “pugnacious attitude” being a brilliant fit, knowing that we’d get along.

What I like about Garry is his disagreeable attitude. It makes me realise that my own nature of cutting through corporate crap – and being “pugnacious” as Bernard calls it – is a useful trait to hold in life.

He has the unique perspective sitting between both Labor (as a former Unionist) and Capital (as a passionate Economist and Fund Manager). The size of the industry super movement and Fund Managers like IFM Investors is incredible considering that the industry only really kicked off in the mid-nineties. A testament to a career and life well spent.

This was a great episode from an industry stalwart that covered:

  • Being the “Godfather of superannuation”
  • The union movement
  • Tax policy
  • What is super, and why is it important?
  • The Royal Commission
  • The business of funds management
  • Infrastructure interests
  • Energy policy
  • Nearing retirement & what he’s excited for

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


01:20 – Introduction
04:42 – Being the “Godfather of superannuation”
05:55 – Future dreams as a kid
07:02 – Studying economics
08:38 – The union movement
10:41 – Lessons learnt from his parents
12:04 – Earliest memory of his childhood
13:10 – Career achievements
16:16 – Value of unions & media misrepresentation
23:12 – Tax policy
31:33 – His impact on the industry
33:36 – What is super, why is it important?
39:53 – Longevity levy
43:13 – The Royal Commission
48:40 – The business of funds management
50:38 – Infrastructure interests
56:27 – Energy policy
01:01:38 – Nearing retirement: what he’s excited for
01:06:25 – Looking back: most interesting observation
01:07:52 – Morning & evening routines
01:09:18 – A book he’d gift and why
01:10:25 – Finding middle-ground
01:10:49 – Who he thinks of when he hears “success”
01:12:37 – Best purchase under $200