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Key document stands up to scrutiny
Key document stands up to scrutiny

The Annual Report is a key communication document for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Conveying their purpose, operation transparency and accuracy of information are critical.

The report was internationally awarded for clear explanations of complex financial information; consistent benchmarks; and a strong creative theme that illustrates the Fund’s purpose. Read on to uncover how we went about creating and delivering a result that successfully bears close scrutiny.

The Brief

The Annual Report is a key communication document for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. There is a need for the Fund to have a high level of transparency and as a high profile organisation they are under a lot of scrutiny, particularly in terms of accuracy of information.

Our brief for the 2015 Annual Report was to clearly communicate the purpose of the Fund and the country’s need of it in a way that is both easy to understand and makes it relevant to the general public: why we have the Fund, how it fits with other retirement schemes and why it is important to New Zealand.

The Solution

The top line messaging on the front cover and opening pages: ‘Reaching retirement is one of their goals – helping fund it is our only goal’, is a direct reference to the purpose of the Fund. Using a series of images of ‘Lulu’ and her family we put a human face to the Fund, creating a more personal approach that the reader can connect to. Through the introduction of various members of Lulu’s family, we explain how the Fund is working and investing now to help each of them in the future.

The report contains a vast amount of information, both narrative and financial. The layout of the internal pages was designed to help with ease of reading a large volume of content, with coloured tabs introduced on the right hand pages assist with navigation of the document.

We also built an online annual review to support the printed report. This included high level content and results from the report and additional video content, with Super Fund staff answering some of the key questions that are often asked: ‘What is the purpose for the Fund?’, ‘What do you invest in?’, ‘What’s your approach to responsible investment?’ and ‘What does it mean to be a long-term investor?’. Other videos included an interview with the Chair and CEO reviewing the year and a more in-depth interview on investment performance. The site also contains various sections of the report as individual PDF downloads.

The Result

The report has attracted plaudits from as far afield as the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF), based in the UK. In January 2016 the report was named winner of the Annual Report category in the Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards 2015, awards that honour outstanding achievements in the fields of PR and Communications: “The Annual Report of the NZ Super Fund is a best practice example of transparent, comprehensive reporting by a sovereign wealth fund. It features clear explanations of complex financial information; consistent benchmarks; and a strong creative theme that illustrates the Fund’s purpose. Case studies provide insights into investments and events, and an online microsite complements the full report.”

Silver: 2016 International ARC Awards
Winner, Annual Reports: 2015 Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards

See also: NZ Super Fund Annual Report 2014, NZ Super Fund 2016 Annual Report, NZ Super Fund website