Australian Unity Investments (AUI) has put the launch of a diversified yield fund on the agenda for next year, and is also looking to forge a retail distribution alliance with a large cap Australian equities manager.

At present AUI distributes products on behalf of its subsidiaries Acorn Capital (domestic micro caps) and Vianova Asset Management (domestic fixed interest), as well as Intech’s international equities product, the High Opportunities Trust (HOT). The group also has its own property and mortgage trusts, but does not manufacture or distribute Australian equities or international fixed interest. However, Vianova, which has a high-conviction, benchmark-unaware style, may branch out into international fixed interest “at some point in the future”, David Bryant, AUI chief, said. “It would be a latter extension, but there’s no reason why our style wouldn’t work in that asset class,” he said. Last week, AUI seeded the new Strategic Fixed Interest Trust, managed by Vianova, with $20 million. Bryant also flagged the possible launch of a diversified yield fund next year. The fund would most likely consist of existing AUI products including the group’s property and mortgage trusts plus the Strategic Fixed Interest Trust. Bryant said the group would also look to forge strategic alliance with a third-party Australian equities manager next year. “We’re not active in Australian equities, but we have continual discussions with potential managers. We haven’t set a specific time frame on when we would like to have a deal, because we don’t believe people make the best decisions when there’s a time pressure,” Bryant said. AUI has over $3 billion under management.

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