Fund Product and Company Updates as at 30 March 2016

Company Updates and News

Stockspot Launches Automated Advice Tool
A new personalised automated investment portfolio service, Stockspot Themes, targeted at early-adopting high-net worth investors has hit the market. There are over 1,000 possible portfolio configurations, with 14 different investment themes. 

JP Morgan AM Add 8 Products to ASX mFund Settlement Service
JP Morgan Asset Management has added four fixed income, three equities and one multi-asset fund to the mFunds Settlement service. This allows investors to buy and sell units in selected unlisted managed funds in a way similar to investing in shares. 

CFS Enhances FirstChoice and FirstWrap
Colonial First State (CFS) has made some positive changes to its platforms. FirstChoice has improved pension payment reset facilities, a better e-post service, and other enhancements. FirstWrap now has improved user interface and navigation. 

VicSuper Establishes Climate Change Committee
VicSuper is working towards understanding the impacts of climate change on its investments, using a survey to establish how interested members were. VicSuper is part of a United Nations-backed Montreal Pledge,which includes publishing the carbon intensity of equities portfolios on company websites. 

BTIM Launches Global Equities Boutique
BT Investment Management's latest funds venture is a global equities boutique, being run by Ashely Pittard, a founding shareholder of PM Capital.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC Review of Conflicts Within Vertically Integrated FM Business
ASIC has extensively reviewed vertically integrated funds management businesses, releasing a report on their conflict management practices. Vertical integration in this instance refers to an entity that operates at least two of funds management, responsible entity, superannuation trustee, platform structure (IDPS or IDPS-like structure), investment administration and custody business.

Some organisations appeared to have a policy that simply met regulatory requirements, rather than actually seeking to identify and address conflicts in business practices. See full report. 

ANZ to Refund $5m for Incorrect Fees
ANZ Banking Group must refund about 25,000 customers for incorrect application of fee reductions and waivers for customers with ANZ Access Basic accounts who also held ANZ credit cards or ANZ Everyday Visa Debit Cards since 2007. The incident was reported to ASIC by ANZ after the discovery of a problem between automated and manual processes, and appropriate action has been taken to rectify the issue. 

Government to Address Poor Equity Crowdfunding Laws
The Treasurer has committed to reviewing problematically narrow and limiting equity crowdfunding legislation. A policy document has revealed that the Government will be considering industry recommendations that all companies, regardless of assets and turnover, be eligible for equity crowdfunding, which is currently not the case. Extensions may be made to the framework to include debt funding. For our in-depth look at equity crowdfunding in Australia and globally in a three-part series, see Part I, II and III

UK and Australian Regulators Sign Innovation Agreement
ASIC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK have agreed to support innovative fintech companies as both jurisdictions enter each other's market. The purpose of the agreement is to reduce uncertainty and time spent before, during and after authorisation. Download agreement. 


Afiniation Showcase for Fintech Startups - 14 April
Afiniation is a fintech startup- and supporter-driven network that has its annual fintech show on April 14, showcasing 30 companies from automated advice to online education. The showcase is for investors and industry.