Keith Free and the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund
For those of you who don't know, Keith Free was the Treasurer of City Tatts for 19 years until he retired in 2009.
The more interesting fact is that he also ran the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund for a long time before it became a Public Offer fund in 2004. (The BSF office was located on the second floor of City Tattersalls Club.)
Then John Kennedy came along!
As the whole world now knows (as a result of coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Review) in 2004 there were big changes in the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund.
John Kennedy (Committee member, and later Chairman, of City Tatts) set up a company called Super Promoters Pty Ltd to get fees from the BSF. He did this, by the way, while he was a Trustee of the fund. This nifty little scheme eventually made $11 million for him, and the other three amigos, by the time they sold it to Diversa in 2009.
Here is the real mystery of the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund
Given the amount of money made from the scheme (at the expense of members) you would think that Keith Free must have had strong feelings about it, either for or against.
Since he built up the Bookmakers Superannuation over a long time you might expect him to be totally opposed to what Kennedy had done. But that is not the case:
- He obviously knew about the Super Promoters scheme and no member ever heard him say anything against it.
- He worked very closely with John Kennedy on the Committee of City Tattersalls Club especially when John Kennedy became Chairman.
- He was the Treasurer of City Tatts when the City Tattersalls Staff Super Fund was rolled into the Bookmakers Super Fund (which meant that every member of the City Tatts fund started to pay fees to Kennedy).
- He was an Employer Representative on the policy committee of the BSF after the Super Promoters scheme was set up.
So he certainly was not against the scheme.
But if he approved of it why did he not insist on his share of the profits?
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