Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 8 May 2018

Product Update


Renewable energy investment fund launched
Future Super is launching a new investment fund targeting a 20 per cent allocation to renewable energy, without investing in fossil fuels. The fund is being launched in light of Future Super research that found the superannuation industry can play a major role in transitioning Australians to renewable energy.

Active ETF to be launched by Fidelity
A range of active exchange traded funds (ETFs) are being launched by Fidelity International into the Australian market as part of a move to streamline active management for investors.

Lifecycle pension strategy launched by REI
REI Super have added a dual-account lifecycle strategy to its pension offering. The strategy will have a default lifecycle investment which will split member accounts across balanced and cash options based on age.

Fixed income portfolio ESG launched by XTB
The XTB emerald fixed income portfolio will invest individual bond units in Australian corporate bonds from companies with a track record of mitigating environmental, social and governance risk.

Active ETF to be launched by InvestSMART
An actively-managed equity income ETF will be launched as an initial public offering by InvestSMART and will mirror InvestSMART’s Australian Equity Income strategy.

BlackRock iShares ETFs restructured
Nineteen of BlackRocks US-domiciled iShare ETFs will be delisted from the ASX and the remainder will be converted as Australian-domiciled ETFs.

Company Updates

ESG indices launched in J.P. Morgan and BlackRock collaboration
J.P. Morgan and BlackRock have collaborated to create the J.P. Morgan ESG Index (JESG). The aim of the index is to meet the growing demand of bond investors for a benchmark that targets new market issuers with ESG practices. The index will be independently managed by J.P. Morgan.

Acorns Australia renamed
In a move following a decision to divest from Acorns, Acorns Australia has rebranded to Raiz Invest Australia.

Regulatory Updates

CBA enters enforceable undertaking
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the Commonwealth Bank (CBA). The enforceable undertaking comes after APRA determined CBA's operation risk management framework was better in theory than in practice.

ASIC welcomes AFCA, board members named
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has been welcomed by ASIC. AFCA will be a single external dispute resolution scheme for small business and consumer disputes, to replace ASIC's current separate external dispute resolution schemes.

Clair Mackay, Erin Turner, Alan Wein, and Andrew Fairley have been named as the new members of AFCAs board. Clair Mackay is the principal adviser at Quantum Financial; Erin Turner is a consumer advocate serving as director of campaigns and communications at CHOICE; Alan Wein is the principal mediator at Wein Mediation; and Andrew Fairley is chairman at Equipsuper.

ASIC cancels SMSF auditors' registrations
Registrations of 117 approved self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditors has been cancelled by ASIC after they did not lodge annual statements.

First Super voting against AMP board
The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has made a recommendation to vote against re-electing AMP board members at the upcoming annual general meeting. This recommendation was triggered by Royal Commission findings.