Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 28 November

Product Updates

MLC completes investor-based fund offering
MLC Private Equity has announced that its MLC Private Equity Fund II has closed oversubscribed. The $160 million fund targeted high-net-worth investors and family offices.

Company Updates

UniSuper moves toward a public offer fund
APRA has approved UniSuper’s application to vary its Registrable Superannuation Entity (RSE), and has obtained a licence from ASIC. UniSuper has decided not to open a fund for the general public, but to provide access to members' children, cousins, in-laws, grandparents, and blended families.

gigSuper reaches out to niche market
gigSuper is tapping into the growing number of self-employed Australians and those working in the gig community. Co-founders Martin Batur and Peter Stanhope say they want to solve the problem that most self-employed Australians have in not contributing to or having any superannuation.

Netwealth and SelfWealth announce ASX listing
Netwealth has been admitted to the ASX official list following success in initial public offering. SelfWealth has been listed on the ASX official list after a successful initial public offering.

BYN to merge investment firms
BYN Mellon Investment Management has announced the merging of Standish Mellon Asset Management, Mellon Capital Management, and The Boston Company Asset Management. The merge is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018.

Optimum Pensions launch new product
David Orford, founder of Financial Synergy, and some of Australia’s leading actuaries have started new company, Optimum Pensions. Optimum Pensions will be rolling out a new product called Real Lifetime Pension, which will include the option to revert to a spouse or partner after the owner death.

Mercer assist members experiencing violence
Mercer is providing staff with training and education in supporting customers who are victims of family violence, and developing a framework for the super funds’ customer-facing staff. Mercer has made other changes to its processes, including providing customers with information about free financial counselling, improving financial hardship application forms, and streamlining the processing times for applications. Mercer’s framework will be offered to the industry free of charge.

Frontier Advisors announces new investment consultant
AvSuper has become the second major asset consultant for Frontier Advisors after ending a partnership with JANA.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC cancels Financial Stewards AFS licence
ASIC has cancelled Financial Stewards Australian financial services (AFS) licence for failure to co-operate with ASIC surveillance. Financial Stewards failed to respond to two compulsory notices issued by ASIC or ASIC correspondence.

Orders against Gold Coast company obtained by ASIC
Anthony Castley of William Buck has been appointed by the Supreme Court to be manager and receiver over the assets of DanFX Trade, Daniel Farook Ali, and associated entities. Freezing orders were also made to restrain the disposal of any property. ASIC alleges that Ali operated an unregistered managed investment scheme through DanFX.

ASIC acts against SMSF scheme
Proceedings have commenced in the Federal Court of Australia, which has obtained interim injunctions against Superfunded and Max Goldenberg. The proceedings concern the promotion of a business that set up self-managed superannuation funds to invest in Superfunded.

ASIC welcomes paper proposing fees-for-service changes
Treasury has released a consultation paper suggesting changes to fees-for-service. Roughly 10 per cent of ASIC’s costs will be recovered by fees-for-service by the industry, as opposed to being fully taxpayer funded.

ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from Foster Stockbroking
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Sydney-based Foster Stockbroking following a conflict of interest investigation by ASIC. It was found that Foster Stockbroking scaled back IPO subscription bids by directors less than those made by investors.

Bell Potter pays infringement notice
Bell Potter Securities has complied with an infringement notice given by the Markets Disciplinary Panel by paying a penalty of $358,000. The penalty was for bids for shares that Bell Potter made for DirectMoney Limited, an ASX-listed company, to support the price of shares. 

Dubai and Australia fintech cooperation
ASIC and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) have signed a Cooperation Agreement to provide framework to support and understand financial innovation in both jurisdiction. The agreement will allow ASIC and DFSA to refer fintech businesses to each other to provide support through their individual fintech functions.