Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 12 February 2019

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Product Updates

Centuria Life launches new bond product suite
A new bond offering is being launched by Centuria Life, Centuria LifeGoals, with 22 managed fund options.

Janus Henderson shuts down Australian equities funds
Janus Henderson Investors is pulling out of Australian equities, closing down its funds and returning investor capital. The managers were finding it difficult to grow the funds and develop long-term growth prospects. Five team members will be lost.

Company Updates

Online shopping for investments
Forum 360, a fintech startup, has been building a prototype for a cloud-based platform that brings fund managers and listed companies to advisers and clients in a group meeting. Currently one-way seminars and webcasts are the tool of choice, for lack of a better option, which can leave engagement levels low, take a lot of time, and overall be an inefficient choice for communications.

Investors are sent an encrypted link to sign up to the meeting, with managers to see who is attending the meeting. Attendees are shown options of what they want to be on the meeting’s agenda, and are able to ask questions, buy an investment product, or be sent more information. The setup will cost much less for investment companies to participate in, and give potential clients a better forum for discussing investments.

AustralianSuper members see admin fees double
Administration fees at AustralianSuper are to increase by $1.25 per week, to $2.25 per week ($39 per year). There is also a new exit fee of $35 for the accumulation and retirement products. The extra funds will go towards technology upgrades, security, and new products, online tools, and seminars for members.

IAG & NRMA Superannuation Plan merging with Sunsuper
A review has resulted in a decision for IAG & NRMA super to merge with Sunsuper, as the smaller fund wasn’t able to operate as a standalone corporate fund.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC launches Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN)
The launch of the GFIN means applications are now being taken for companies to participate in the pilot with innovative financial products, services or business models in more than one jurisdiction. The GFIN has 28 member organisations, including ASIC. Companies can trial and scale new technology in several areas across the globe simultaneously, gaining insights into different operational models in different marketplaces. Fintech startups are being encouraged to submit an application before the end of February 2019.

Jade Capital AFS licence cancelled
ASIC has cancelled Jade Capital’s Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence and banned one director after surveillance uncovered broad non-compliance, with the director banned from engaging in financial services for four years. The company advertised misleading returns, fees and costs, performance history and results relating to its services and investments.