Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 16 March 2017

Product Updates

Instreet launches venture capital fund
The Instreet Start-Up Fund will invest in companies operating in niche markets, providing early-stage innovation companies tax incentives. Five to 10 startups will receive between $250,000 and $1 million each, and the fund will target a five to 20 per cent ownership. The goal is to have a fund size of $5 million with a set minimum investment size of $50,000. The term is five to 10 years, unlisted. This offer closes on April 28. 

First social bond with workplace gender equality in mind
Investors both at home and abroad have loaded $500 million into a social bond that promotes workplace gender equality, set out by National Australia Bank (NAB).  Proceeds will be used to finance or re-finance the assets of Australian businesses that actively put women on equal footing with men. The NAB Social Bond (Gender Equality) works with organisations that fit certain criteria. 

AXA IM announces investment strategy capitalising on gender diversity
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has announced a new investment strategy focused on those companies that promote gender diversity. The strategy is named The AXA World Funds - MiX in Perspectives, and looks to generate long-term capital growth from  those companies found to create financial and social value by utilising the economic role of women. 

Human Super super product for women
A new superannuation product aimed at women is set to grace the Australian stage. The product aims to offer sustainable superannuation via ethical screening that excludes polluters, nuclear weapons manufacturers and human rights violators. The creators want to make superannuation a high-engagement product, adding 'new blood' to the Australian super industry. 

Omega launching tax-efficient equity income strategy
Omega Global Investors is to launch an equity income investment strategy. The strategy aims to provide income of up to six per cent annually with less volatility by half than the underlying share market. 

Company Updates

Russell Investments and Netwealth make a deal
Russell Investments is set to become a player in the platform market with a platform deal with Netwealth worth $850 million. Netwealth was chosen by Russell as partner for its new Russell Investments - Wealth and Super Series platform, where Netwealth will transition $850 million in assets. The new platform will offer advisers and clients access to term deposits, an integrated cash option, and insurance. 

ANZ closes broking arm
ANZ is closing its ANZ Share Investing arm, transitioning its customers to a UK-based platform, LSE-listed CMC Markets. 

IM merger creates giant
Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management are to merge, with Aberdeen and Standard Life shareholders owning roughly 33.3 per cent and 66.7 per cent respectively of the new company. The merged entity will hold over $1 trillion in assets, and will be based in Scotland. 

Hunter Hall merging with Pengana
Hunter Hall International Limited is entering into an agreement to merge with Pengana Holdings. The two investment teams are set to offer investors and shareholders a more broad and diversified offering with their $3 billion in collective assets under management. 

Regulatory Updates

EU accepted from Westpac and ANZ for wholesale FX inadequacies
ASIC has accepted enforceable undertakings from both Westpac and ANZ to address inadequacies in their wholesale FX businesses. Between 2008 and 2013, ASIC says, concerns were raised regarding systems and controls to address risks relating to instances of inappropriate conduct of employees identified by ASIC. Both had instances of inappropriate disclosure of confidential information. 

Credit Suisse pays $170,000 infringement notice
Credit Suisse Equities has paid a $170,000 penalty from the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP) after the MDP believed Credit Suisse had contravened the Act by failing to have appropriate filters on their automated order processing systems. This relates to a human-error order entry issue that resulted in transactions taking place at 96 per cent below the extreme trade range reference price for those products, due to incorrect filters.