Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 28 February 2018

Product Updates

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Legg Mason partners with BetaShares
BetaShares and Legg Mason have partnered up to provide a new suite of active exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Two active ETFs will initially be launched under the partnership, with each being traded on the ASX alongside BetaShares' existing offerings.

ETMF to be launched by Perennial
An exchange-traded managed fund (ETMF) aimed at delivering a stable monthly income stream is being launched by Perennial, based on the Value Shares for Income Trust. Lead portfolio manager will be Stephen Bruce. 

AMP cuts new wholesale fund fees
A new range of managed funds, Advantage Funds, is being rolled out by AMP on the MyNorth, Summit, North, PortfolioCare, iAccess, and WealthView platforms. 

Micro-cap fund launched by Lennox
Lennox Capital Partners is launching a new micro-cap fund which will hold between 20 and 49 New Zealand and Australian companies. The Lennox Australian Microcap Fund will aim to outperform S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Accumulation Index.

Company Updates

Legg Mason divests cluster bombs and tobacco
Western Asset, a Legg Mason affiliate, is divesting investments linked to cluster munition and tobacco in its fixed income strategies. These investments are being removed from the Legg Mason Western Asset Global Bond Fund and Legg Mason Western Asset Australian Bond Fund.

IOOF and GROW Super partner
IOOF purchased a minority stake in Grow Super to expand the wealth group and boost the digital capabilities of its own financial adviser network. The partnership will facilitate member engagement and connectivity between investors and financial advice.

SMSF administrator acquired by SuperConcepts
SuperConcepts is attempting to expand its market share by acquiring self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) administrator MORE Super.

Acorns plans super fund launch
Acorns Grow Australia has announced plans to launch a superannuation product, Acorns Grow Australia Super, set to be launched in March. The feature will be integrated into Acorns Australia’s existing app.

KPMG sells admin business
KPMG has entered into an agreement to sell its superannuation administration business to OneVue. The administration business has about $2 billion in funds under management.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC applies to appoint liquidator to Superfunded
ASIC has applied to the Federal Court for the appointment of Jason Tracy of Deloitte as liquidator to Superfunded. ASIC alleges that Superfunded encouraged customers to set up self-managed super funds, actions that were not necessarily in the best interests of the clients.

Four major banks under scrutiny - hearing date set
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will conduct a public hearing as part of its ongoing scrutiny of the four major Australian banks. The hearings are set to be held on 11, 12, and 19 October 2018. 

Credit Suisse hiring investigation
Credit Suisse is being investigated over hiring practices in Asia Pacific. Credit Suisse is responding to requests from regulatory and governmental authorities regarding potential US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other civil statute violations.