The $5-billion Catholic Super Fund has signed a deal with retail research house, Lonsec, to become the latest industry fund to offer a direct investment option to its 70,000 members.

Catholic Super’s new platform, which is built on technology by OneTrust, will be available to members next year and will cost $25 per month plus brokerage and transaction fees. It will allow members to invest in term deposits and ASX-listed securities, and also provide research and general advice on asset allocation and portfolio construction.

This follows the September launch of Club Plus Super’s new direct investment option, which is built on the Macquarie Wrap. Club Plus members pay $15 per month, plus brokerage fees depending on the value of trades. Similarly, AustralianSuper and Telstra Super recently launched member-directed investment platforms.

Catholic Super chief executive, Frank Pegan, said the platform was developed in response to member demand, but also to stem the loss of clients with larger account balances to the self-managed superannuation fund sector. He said the platform aimed to deliver a feeling not dissimilar to an “online shopping experience”.Pegan_Frank-web

“We want to offer an increasingly wide range of products and services to our members. This will allow us to hold onto to members and help those who want to get into direct investments,” he said.

Pegan, pictured right, added that the platform would be accessible on tablets and mobile devices, and ultimately offer additional investments, some which “haven’t even been dreamed up yet”.

He said the solutions would complement the fund’s financial advice business, which currently employs 15 advisers.

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