Jana Investment Advisers’ divisional director John Coombe says there are too many Australian equities startups and he predicts some will fail, as the consultant prepares to conduct its asset allocation meeting this week.

Coombe said JANA had been tending towards a defensive allocation stance for some time and that would continue with the investment outlook “;ok but not fantastic”;. He said the sub-prime crisis had not finished yet and could play out for another 12 months, predicting cash as king. He said he was expecting returns of no more than 10 per cent for Australian equities, and this would cause some difficulty for startups. JANA endeavours to review all startups and has recently completed due diligence on Paul Fiani’s Integrity. “;It is easier if they come with a track record. It is difficult for a board of trustees to go with blokes that have never won money,”; he said. But he said there were too many Australian equities start up firms and some would fail. “;I hope they realise that,”; he said. “;Australian equities is not going to return 24 per cent so revenues will not be up that much either. What if we decided to go underweight Australian equities?”; JANA is at a benchmark weight to Australian equities but Coombe said the next move “;will not be up”;.

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