Staff at the $4.6-billion Equipsuper could start making tactical investment bets through futures contracts by the end of the year.

Equipsuper’s seven-person investment team aims to begin making investments in all asset classes by using futures based on major stock and bond market indexes by December. The contracts would enable the fund to place trades without incurring the transactional and tax costs of shifting assets among outsourced investment managers.

“It gives us flexibility to move money more quickly,” Danielle Press, chief executive of the Melbourne-based industry fund, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “It gives stability to investment managers because we will not be taking physical cash from them.”

Equipsuper’s investment team, led by chief investment officer Michael Strachan, will be responsible for managing the publicly traded securities, which are agreements to buy or sell an asset at a specified time in the future.

Futures could provide tax benefits by preventing Equipsuper’s fund managers from realising capital gains on sold stocks and breaching the so-called 45-day rule, which blocks franked dividends to short-term investors.

Equipsuper’s investment committee, comprised of fund trustees, supported the decision to start trading futures in a meeting one year ago, Press said. Merger negotiations with the $4.9-billion Vision Super, which collapsed in May, stalled the plan.

Simon Mumme became a fnancial journalist through a stroke of luck. Upon graduating with a Master of Journalism from The University of Queensland in 2006, he set out to fnd a news organisation that would employ him as an overseas correspondent or business reporter. Or both, ideally. Conexus Financial hired the bright-eyed cadet, and in the ensuing years he wrote for all of its titles until being appointed editor of Investment Magazine in June 2010. Under his guidance, the magazine continues to dominate the Australian institutional investment media through its authoritative, insightful and engaging feature stories and analysis. Outside of work, Simon trains keenly in Muay Thai kickboxing, revels in the surf breaks fringing the Sydney coastline and reads as much high-quality journalism and non-fiction writing as he can. Committed to his role as a niche business reporter, Simon is aware that an overseas posting as a correspondent still eludes him. He hopes Conexus can help him with that career goal too.
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