Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 4 October 2017

Product Updates

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AMP and Challenger annuities deal
AMP’s adviser portal is now offering Challenger annuities. Advisers can apply for Challenger term annuities, as well as its CarePlus and Liquid Lifetime suites. These will also be accessible in AMP’s MyNorth and North platforms along with AMP SignatureSuper and Flexible Super.

Robotics ETF set to launch
An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is set to launch on the ASX that will invest in companies focused on developing automation and robotics technology. ETF Securities Robotics and Automation aims to invest in areas of the market that capture a trend or a theme that could change the upside of a portfolio.

Company Updates

Zenith and Netwealth partnership
Zenith Investment Partners are to manage Netwealth’s Elite Blend models on the Netwealth Wealth Accelerator and Super Accelerator services.

AMP to join with US advice firm
AMP has made a non-material investment in United States advice business United Capital, as both businesses collaborate in developing a plan to share intellectual property.

Fund divests weapons and tobacco
The State Street Global Index Plus Trust has stripped 12 companies from its investments. Companies that have been excluded are involved with manufacturing cluster bombs, landmines, tobacco, biological weapons and depleted uranium.

BNP Paribas AM new fintech
A digital advisory service is being added to BNP Paribas Asset Management after the company bought a majority stake in a Belgian fintech company, Gambit Financial Solutions.

Concept One merging with WA Super
WA Super and Concept One released a joint statement to announce they had signed a deal to merge companies. The merger is expected to be completed in early 2018, with Concept One members expected to experience lower administration and investment fees, access to a wider range of financial options and enhanced investment options.

IOOF subsidiary partners with RPA
Australian Executor Trustees (AET), a subsidiary of IOOF, is to collaborate with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), a philanthropic organisation. This partnership is to facilitate the development of better giving strategies using RPA expertise.

Regulatory Updates

CBA court case abandoned, but separate class action continues
The federal court case against the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) for failing to disclose climate change risks in its annual reports has been dropped due to claims being withdrawn. IMF Bentham has announced it will formally fund the open class action against CBA relating to the alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws.

ASX possible blockchain announcement
The ASX is on track to roll out blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT). The official announcement is scheduled for December, as consultation is still underway.

ASIC life insurance added to school curriculums
ASIC is planning to incorporate life insurance in primary and secondary school curriculums across Australia. The plan is to embed financial literacy elements into economics, maths, science and other subjects in 10,000 schools nationwide.

OpenMarkets Australia infringement notice
OpenMarkets Limited Australia has paid a penalty of $200,000 in compliance with an infringement notice given by Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP). The MDP had reasonable grounds to believe that OpenMarkets had breached market integrity rules throughout 2015-16.