Mitsubishi Motors is outsourcing its $200 million in super to AMP’s Signature master fund, with AMP providing a sweetener to the deal to help the car maker sell its new 380 range of Magna-replacement vehicles.

AMP has had what it refers to as an “affinity” program for some years, whereby members in several of its funds can gain access to additional services, such as home loans. The arrangement with Mitsubishi involves an offer by AMP Signature, which has been one of the most successful master funds in winning new corporate business in the past 12 months, to provide direct mail or other marketing of Mitsubishi cars to the whole of its membership. According to reports in the motor industry, the new range of Mitsubishi cars, including the 380, have not sold as well as the company would have liked. This is despite a strong recovery last year by Mitsubishi following its “better built, better backed” television advertising campaign. As widely reported, Adelaide-based Mitsubishi has suffered financial difficulties for years, not helped by a reluctance to provide new investment capital from Japan. Meanwhile, AMP Signature, which contains the defined benefit master fund administration capability, has gone from strength to strength since it was revamped last year and included the Future Directions international multi-manager fund advised by Mercer Investment Consulting. Mitsubishi’s two funds – an employees’ fund and a staff fund – have a total of about 2,300 members. All of the Mitsubishi super fund members are employees, so the ‘Sole Purpose Test’, by which funds need to aim all actions for the retirement benefit of the members, is unlikely to be a problem with the AMP Signature marketing deal. Mitsubishi staff and employees should benefit from any assistance anyone can give to sell more or their cars.

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