In the hushed conversation after Cooper’s address, one local rep for a global funds manager complained that he already had trouble reserving capacity in new products – because HQ knew they could sell the product in Europe for a much higher fee than they could in Australia.

Another grumble regarding Cooper’s proposal was that it would wipe out competition, because an institution would be incentivised to give out a single $2 billion Australian equities mandate, say, paying only a $1 million ‘cost recovery’ base fee, rather than 10 mandates of $200 million each.

And that would throw a lot of funds managers out of work. At least Cooper gave them a couple of suggestions for alternate careers.

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