Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 21 February 2017

Product Updates

Mercer launches LifetimePlus longevity solution
Mercer has launched its new version of its longevity solution, Lifetime Plus, which includes 35 per cent growth assets, whereas the original contained only defensive. Retail platforms taking on the product include OneVue, HUB24 and Mason Stevens, with future additions possibly being Macquarie Wrap and others. 

Queensland Treasury issues green bonds
The Queensland Treasury Corporation is to issue certified and independently verified green bonds to Australian and international investors for use on projects that are partially or completely funded by the Queensland Government. 

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank launch socially conscious fund
The bank has launched its socially responsible growth fund, targeting younger investors, with the investment as a standalone fund or as a choice in the Bendigo SmartStart Super Fund. Research has found that over 80 per cent of millennials had an interest in sustainable investing. 

Company Updates

Link Group buys funds management admin company
The Link Group is now functioning in the funds management administration industry after purchasing White Outsourcing. The company is looking to get into private markets with a longstanding stalwart of the managed funds admin business in Australia. 

Russell sells actuarial consulting business to WTW
Russell Investments is set to sell its actuarial consulting business to Willis Towers Watson, after entering into an agreement. Russell's actuarial business has been running for 30 years and has 22 staff, with more than 50 clients. 

Mercer partners with Decimal's Eqilize
Mercer's Super Trust members and other superannuation funds serviced by Mercer will now benefit from a digital advice solution, Eqilize, a pre-configured solution for super funds. 

Contango launches Contango Global Growth Limited
Contango Asset Management is to launch Contango Global Growth Limited, an ASX-listed investment company that actively invests in a portfolio of global listed securities. A prospectus for the initial public offering will be lodged with ASIC in April 2017. 

Challenger partners with Standard Life Investments
Challenger is partnering with international investment manager Standard Life Investments, and developing a branded retirement fund in a first for the overseas company. The fund - the Challenger Absolute Return Global Bond Strategies Fund - is set to offer a positive absolute return over the medium-to-long-term over all market cycles with a steady income stream. 

Regulatory Updates

Share Investing pays $130,000 infringement notice
Share Investing Limited has been forced to comply with a $130,000 infringement notice after the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP) had reason to believe the company had not complied with ASIC Market Integrity Rules regarding a client's automated trading account. 

Sovereign MF Ltd (in liquidation) has its AFS cancelled
ASIC has cancelled the Australian Financial Services licence of Sovereign MF Ltd (in liquidation), the responsible entity for The Sovereign Tarneit Land Fund and The Sovereign Aged Care Property Fund. The company was put into liquidation in May 2013 due to insolvency. 

AAT agrees with ASIC decision to suspend MASU AFSL
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has upheld ASIC's decision to suspend the Australian Financial Services licence of MASU Financial Management Pty Ltd for eight weeks. The suspension comes after concerns MASU was not complying with its obligations and was likely to contravene its obligations further.