Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 30 July 2019

Product Updates

Russell Investments enters managed accounts space
A suite of multi-asset portfolios is Russell Investments’ entry into the managed accounts market, with a ‘cost effective price point’ pitch. There are four portfolio options available ranging from conservative to growth built of actively managed Australian stocks, and some Vanguard and Russell index exchange traded funds (ETFs). Asset allocation is dynamic and unconstrained, with investment fees between 65 and 67 basis points.

The portfolios are currently only available on the Praemium platform, however more platforms are expected to take up the product.

HUB24 announces multi-currency functionality for IMs
Ten foreign currencies are now able to be included in the implementation of managed portfolio investment strategies on the HUB24 platform. The new multi-currency functionality is to become available inside international managed portfolios so managers can settle international securities transactions and have dividends paid in a foreign currency. Foreign currency can also be held for future trades in that specific market.

Pinnacle IM set to launch zero(ish)-fee ETF
Australia’s first zero-fee exchange traded fund (ETF) is set to be launched by Pinnacle Investment Management. The zero fee applies to the investment management fee only, with investors still required to pay 4-15 basis points annually. The aim is to give investors a good experience so they feel comfortable investing with the company again. Pinnacle is footing the bill in the hopes of retaining long-standing clients in an ongoing relationship.

BetaShares launches FTSE 100 ETF
A new exchange traded fund is set to track the United Kingdom’s largest 100 companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. The passive ETF tracks the market cap weighted FTSE 100 Index, with management fees at 0.45 per cent.

Cooper Investors launches equities fund
A Melbourne equities boutique has launched its Global Endowment Fund, a portfolio of global stocks in a long-term investment. The target market is retirees, charities and foundations.

Company Updates

LGIAsuper switches out WTW for JANA as asset consultant
After 17 years, Willis Towers Watson (WTW) is getting the flick in favour of JANA as asset consultant at LGIAsuper. The boutique industry fund for Queensland’s local government employees underwent an extensive tender process, ultimately deciding to switch.

First State Super and VicSuper planning merger
A Binding Heads of Agreement to merge has been signed by First State Super and VicSuper, with roles defined and a 2020 deadline laid out. A successful merger would see a $120 billion fund with over 1.1 million members.

First State Super’s chief executive Deanne Stewart would lead the combined fund, with VicSuper’s CEO Michael Dundon to remain only as the funds are merged. Chair of the board is to be Neil Cochrane, with 14 directors, with four of those being VicSuper nominating bodies. This will reduce to 10 by June 2022, with an independent chair, and two directors from VicSuper.