Funds Product and Company Updates - 1 March 2016

Product and Service Updates

Macquarie Launches Automated Investment Advice Service
Macquarie has set up OwnersAdvisory, an electronic automated platform for portfolio advice. The new service allows investors to manage their investments online and charges a flat fee for help in making choices. The platform uses over 30,000 investment products globally to offer recommendations aligned with the individual's investment style, goals, and risk tolerance. The monthly fee is $45. 

AMP Upgrades North, Launches New Platform
AMP has enhanced North and launched a new platform, MyNorth. North saw upgrades with greater tablet accessibility, better reporting, and search and user interface improvements. MyNorth is a new wrap solution that offers flexible investment menus and aims for a positive user experience. MyNorth is targeting younger investors with less complex needs through to more complex portfolios. 

Automated Algorithm-based Investment Advice Service Launched
BetaSmartz is a new automated investment advice platform targeting institutional and retail investors. The company, founder and chief executive John James said, is applying technology to 'what is otherwise a manual, inefficient process'. The platform will be implemented initially at several Australian institutions. 

BT Wrap Adds Folkestone A-REIT
Folkestone Maxim Asset Management's A-REIT Securities Fund is now on the BT Wrap platform, the fifth platform to accept it to its ranks. The fund is high conviction with ASX-listed real estate securities - offices, retail, industrial, residential and real estate related social infrastructure assets. 

Policy, Education and Regulatory Updates

RIAA Certification Program Improvements
The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) has improved its certification program to help consumers choose the best investment option for their needs. The updated Responsible Investment Certification Program increases focus on program requirements, internal governance, criteria and verification processes of responsible funds. 

FSC Announces Six-point Plan for Australian Superannuation
The Financial Services Council (FSC) now has a six-point plan to improve our superannuation system. 

  1. Give every Australian saver cast-iron confidence in the system - take the system out of the budget cycle, and stop tinkering. 
  2. Define its purpose and make it law.
  3. Increase the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent by 2022.
  4. Encourage people to save voluntarily beyond the 12 per cent guarantee by maintaining contribution caps that are high enough to allow women and carers in particular to catch up on their savings after breaks from the workforce (an additional three per cent, give or take). 
  5. Provide tax concessions which give all Australians an incentive to save.
  6. Increase the preservation age in line with increases in the age pension and life expectancy. 

Company Updates

OneVue Partnering with Sentry Group with Advice Platform
OneVue's platform will now be set into Sentry's Compass platform suite, joining HUB24, Asgard, and netwealth. 

Monash Launches Aus Equities Absolute Return Listed Investments Company
The Monash Absolute Investment Company has launched a new Australian equities absolute return listed investment company with a similar portfolio to Monash's long-short Monash Absolute Investment Fund (2012 launch). The reasoning behind the launch was advisers requested a direct investment rather than a managed fund.