Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 24 September 2017

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Product Updates

AMP broadens retirement offer
Through AMP’s wealth management adviser portal and digital customer tools, AMP advisers and customers will have access to the full range of Challenger annuities. Advisers can use a simple application process for Challenger’s term annuities, CarePlus products and Liquid Lifetime range. AMP’s North and MyNorth platform customers, AMP flexible Super and SignatureSuper customers are also now able to access a single view of their Challenger annuities and other investments.

Company Updates

IMCA australia rebranding plan
The Investment Management Consultants Association's (IMCA) Australian chapter has announced plans to rebrand themselves as Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) Society of Australia.

Investec Australia to start asset-based lending
The Corporate and Acquisition Finance division of Investec Australia Limited has announced its entry into the asset-based lending market in Australia. The company has been involved in the ABL market for over a decade in the UK and South Africa, set to complement existing core ranges. 

CFS to combine tech with CommSec
CommSec Adviser Services (CAS) and Colonial First State (CFS) are coming together to launch a new portfolio service that will allow advisers to manage their high-net-worth and SMSF clients in one place. The portfolio service will provide advisers access to a variety of products and investments via the online portal.

Ignition Wealth partners for investment banking
Ignition Wealth has partnered with APP Securities to provide digital advice to their customers. This includes a secure online messaging platform that connects with APP Securities brokers, risk assessments, portfolio monitoring and rebalancing, trade execution and other services.

Regulatory Updates

Theta product disclosure statement stop order
Theta Asset Management has been issued a stop order by ASIC regarding its product disclosure statements. The order was issued due to concerns about inadequate and inaccurate information was being provided in the disclosure statements for Sterling Income Trust.

ASIC crowdfunding applications
ASIC will be accepting licence applications for the new crowd-sourced funding as of 29 September 2017. Under this regime, eligible public companies will be able to offer fully paid ordinary shares to investors via an online platform.

MLAF infringement notice penalty
Merrill Lynch's futures division has paid a $60,000 penalty to comply with an infringement notice given by the Markets Disciplinary Panel. The infringement notice was given as a result of varying degrees of inappropriate limits set by the futures division of the company for a number of ASX 24 Market pathways.

Mark Power licence cancellation affirmed
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has affirmed the decision made by ASIC to cancel the Australian financial services licences of Mark Power and Mark Power Financial (MPF). This decision was made because the AAT found that Power and MPF failed to comply with their obligations on multiple occasions. 

ATO superannuation taskforce funded by government
A Superannuation Guarantee Taskforce will be established to crackdown on employers that fail to meet their SG obligations and are potentially not giving their employees any or correct amounts of superannuation. Kelly O’Dwyer, federal minister for revenue and financial services, has said the government will fund the ATO operated taskforce.

ATO Super Guarantee gap estimate released
The ATO has released its estimate of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) gap. The ATO has estimated the net SG gap at $2.85 billion of the total estimated $54.78 billion that employers were required to pay in 2014-15.