ING OneAnswer has accessed its parent bank’s balance sheet to introduce what it claims is the only capital protected product on an Australian platform.

The protection, arranged through ING Bank, is set at 85 per cent of the underlying portfolio – which is an ING managed growth fund. As the value of the portfolio rises, the protection re-sets at 85 per cent of the new value, establishing a ‘high water mark’ each time which is retained if the underlying portfolio value subsequently falls. The product, known as ING Protected Growth Fund, boasts daily unit pricing and no lock-in period, which is unlike most other bank-arranged capital protection vehicles. However, it is expensive at 240 bps per year. Too much product focus was being placed on alpha products, which by definition would not all be able to generate scarce alpha, according to ING’s executive director of sales and marketing, Dan Powell. “;We thought it was timely to offer something with some level of guaranteed return, to suit the risk tolerance of ordinary investors,”; he said. The Protected Growth Fund is one of a number of new features to be available on OneAnswer from December 11. Other additions include its first global property securities fund (to be managed by ING Clarion), a Merrill Lynch asset allocation trust, and an auto-rebalancing service.

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