Hedge Funds

Brad Holzberger: a new way of measuring performance

The debate on how asset classes are categorised as growth and defensive has arisen again. I can recall debating this many times since superannuation performance surveys began to achieve prominence. The matter is deemed important because it enables super funds to categorise their default option into the central balanced (61 – 80) category and thereby […]
Policy and Regulation

Mark Delaney urges fund managers to sign CFA code

AustralianSuper has publicly endorsed the CFA’s Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct, as part of a bid to get the code more widely adopted by fund managers. The code outlines the ethical and professional responsibilities of firms that manage assets on behalf of clients and is an attempt to get uniformity of basic standards worldwide. […]
Hedge Funds

New breed passive manager emerges

A new breed of passive manager that conducts greater engagement with companies to create long term value is set to emerge as the scope for large investors to gain access to skilled managers decreases. The US$ 4.77 trillion fund manager BlackRock has already started down this path in the belief that long term financial and […]
Retirement

Ground-breaking retirement solution on public view, June 1

The creators of the most advanced program to calculate optimal investment and consumption strategies for retirees are to make a public demonstration of their work in Melbourne on June 1. David Schneider, head of research at UniSuper, plus Paul Newfield and Jeffrey Chee, both senior actuaries at Towers Watson, will speak at an Actuaries Institute […]
Hedge Funds

Can investors rely on the persistence of smart beta factors?

Twenty years of data on behavioural trading anomalies is enough evidence to show that factor or smart beta strategies have a high probability of working, Northern Trust’s head of global equities told delegates at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium. Matt Peron, who looks after active, passive and smart beta portfolios for Northern Trust, was answering what […]
Hedge Funds

Risk of crowded trades calculated by new research

Crowding is the single biggest mispriced risk for investors over a one-to-two year time horizon, according to Sasho Bogoevski, managing director, multi-asset solutions, AB. He told delegates of the Fiduciary Investors Symposium how his firm’s research had identified crowding around stocks common in low volatility portfolios as a particular concern and how several of AB’s […]
Retirement

World’s first adaptive DC retirement model developed

A revolutionary program that offers robo-advice on optimal investment plans for individuals could change the face of retirement offerings for superannuation funds. The model, which has been created by three actuaries, factors in detailed statistics on investment, health and mortality, alongside personal data on wealth, income requirements and risk preferences. The multiple inputs have been […]
Policy and Regulation

Frydenberg wants discussion on income replacement bracket

Assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants an income replacement bracket to be part of the debate in setting an agreed objective around superannuation. This is part of a broader retirement income policy examination the government is undertaking. The “Holy Grail of reform” is the interaction between taxation, superannuation and pension, Frydenberg told delegates at the Financial […]
Hedge Funds

Low fees do not give best retirement outcomes

Low fees have little correlation with fund performance or retirement outcomes, according to research conducted by SuperRatings. This research stands in opposition to the Grattan Institute which called on the government to run a tender on default funds, as they claim there is little evidence that funds that charge higher fees provide better member services. […]
CIO profiles

Profile: Oscar Fabian, CIO, VicSuper

VicSuper is about to launch a scientific, analysis-driven approach to enhance its dynamic asset allocation. The project, which has been one year in the making, is pooling sources of information on its investment holdings into a data warehouse. It will use this superior information on the risks and opportunities it faces, to help better inform […]
CIO profiles

Mark Delaney’s new frontier: CIO of the year finalist

AustralianSuper is rapidly redefining the limits of what a large Australian institutional fund can be. Projected to double its $84 billion size in four to five years’ time, it is turning itself increasingly into a self-sufficient investor. While many in the industry might marvel or be shocked at each step of its evolution – both […]
Hedge Funds

Maritime’s equity insurance take-up exceeds expectations

Hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed into Maritime Super’s managed volatility process (MVP) since launch nine months ago. The overlay, which uses the shorting of futures options as insurance against falls in the value of equities, has been communicated to members with the words “don’t jump ship”. It provides members with the opportunity to […]
Policy and Regulation

Frydenberg lays out his agenda for super

Governance is at the top of Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s agenda for superannuation. Speaking at the Financial Services Council (FSC) breakfast briefing in Sydney he said the Government believes the way to do this is by making sure there is an “appropriate number of independent directors” on superannuation fund boards arguing that this will help […]
Investment Strategy

Tech alliance against banks gathers momentum

Scott Hartley has called on profit-for-member funds to work as a collective to match the investment made by banks in new technology. At an AIST lunch in Sydney, the Sunsuper chief executive said if funds could keep adding services while maintaining or reducing fees, then banks would be deterred from competing. Such collective action would […]
Hedge Funds

On the Move: Felix Stephen retires

After a 45 year career in finance Felix Stephen is to step down from his role as head of strategy and research at Advance Asset Management. Stephen’s last day will be Thursday, April 30, after which he plans to spend more time working for the Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities charity he started with […]
CIO profiles

Paul Kessell: CIO of the year finalist

Paul Kessell is the first of five finalist in the chief investment officer of the year category that Investment Magazine will be profiling in the lead up to the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2015. The winner is due to be announced on the awards evening at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney, May 20. Kessell has 20 […]
Unintentional

Risk officer: a new role for super?

“Financial management in a super fund is not about trying to maximise a profit – it is about minimising costs, expenses and overheads,” says Nick Vamvakas, executive officer risk of Equip, on the old style model for a chief financial officer. The role will always involve operational and compliance duties, but he sees the need […]
CIO profiles

At-a-glance profiles of awards’ finalists

There are six weeks until the third annual Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards, with limited tickets left. This year’s finalists were selected based on a quantitative assessment by Rice Warner upon which the selection committee placed relative weights. Here is a mini-profile of every organisation and person that made the shortlist. Richard Brandweiner CFA moved from […]
Investment Strategy

Eliminating commercial interests from awards

The process for shortlisting finalists in the third annual Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards was setup with the express purpose of eliminating commercial interest from the decision making procedure, Colin Tate, chief executive of Conexus Financial said. Tate said what separates these awards from others in the superannuation sector is the independent nature of the selection process. “The […]
Investment Strategy

More women and independents on boards

Diversity on superannuation boards has increased steadily in the past year, with nine out of 13 publicly announced appointments going to women. Seven of these appointments have gone to independents, four have gone to people with funds management backgrounds and two have gone to lawyers. The announcements only represent funds that have sought to publicise […]
Hedge Funds

Housing: super’s next frontier

Joe Hockey’s proposal on housing is politically popular and the industry shouldn’t “kid itself” about this warned Nick Sherry, senior advisor of superannuation and pensions at Citi and former superannuation minister. One of the few asset classes in Australia that has not been commoditised by the funds management industry is residential housing, and if funds […]
CIO profiles

Hartley calls for fee clarity

David Hartley, chief investment officer of Sunsuper, has challenged the industry to publish for members the costs of running their fund alongside the cost of direct fund management fees and an estimate of trading fees. He believes not only do trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to disclose fund costs as a proportion of fees to […]
Investment Strategy

Default fund of the year shortlist announced

Shortlists for the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards have been released. The funds recognised as having the best MySuper defaults, the best member engaged services, the best pension funds and those that have created the most far reaching innovation in the past year have all been named in advance of the awards ceremony at the Ivy […]
Unintentional

Case study: reflections on a merger

The key players in the merger between AGEST and AustralianSuper revealed some of the secrets of the deal to delegates. AustralianSuper took four years to earn back the $11 million costs of its merger with AGEST it was revealed in a session entitled ‘To Merge or Not To Merge’ at CMSF 2015. The figure was […]
Hedge Funds

Home based global equity teams on the rise

The number of global equity teams trading from Australia has risen to nine, in part driven by the growing pool of assets in superannuation. The most recent addition are two funds from Antipodes Partners run by Jacob Mitchell, former deputy chief investment officer of Platinum Asset Management and a portfolio manager of the Platinum International […]
Investment Strategy

Directors personally liable for cyber-attacks

Directors can be held personally liable for destructive cyber-attacks, but super funds are complacent about the mounting threat, a cyber security adviser said in a session entitled ‘The anatomy of a hack’. Carl Woerndle, cyber security advisor at Deloitte, said the chief executive played a critical role in combating attacks and that it was vital […]
Hedge Funds

IFM’s largest overseas investment is in bankrupt operator

IFM Investors has acquired the Indiana Toll Road Concession for $7.52 billion (USD5.725 billion), the largest overseas infrastructure deal in IFM’s history. IFM Global Infrastructure Fund has agreed to acquire 100 per cent equity interest in the toll road’s concessionaire and operator, ITR Concession Company (ITRCC), who filed for bankruptcy in September, 2014. The ITRCC […]
Policy and Regulation

Bowen slams Hockey’s proposal

Removing savings from superannuation accounts to buy housing will be “disastrous”, the shadow treasurer said. Chris Bowen slammed treasurer Joe Hockey’s “thought bubble” that superannuation money could be used to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder or retrain, describing the proposal as “ridiculous” and “disappointing” at the Centre for International Finance and […]
Hedge Funds

The case for low volatility equities in a retirement portfolio

The performance of low volatility and benchmark equity strategies for retirement portfolios was likened to the tale of the tortoise and the hare at the 7th annual Post-Retirement Conference. Roy Maslen, chief investment officer – Australian equities, at AB (formerly known as Alliance Bernstein), presented research which showed a well-constructed low volatility portfolio would eventually […]
Unintentional

No perfect retirement product

The superannuation industry is on a steep learning curve on what success looks like in post-retirement product development. Case studies from Equip Super, NGS Super and MTAA Super at the 7th annual Post-Retirement Conference in Sydney heard feedback of investment success, adjustments and low take-up. Early indications show the NGS Super pension product, the most […]
Investment Strategy

Sunsuper begins development of ‘guided advice’

Sunsuper is utilising its new alliance with Vanguard to develop guided advice for members as an alternative to robo-advice. With a low average account balance of $31,000 Sunsuper has been examining cost-effective ways of delivering personalised limited scope financial advice to members and thinks that Vanguard’s guided advice model “works incredibly well”. “Vanguard’s experience with […]
Investment Strategy

REST loses second COO in 6 months

Jo Townsend is to become chief executive of Funds SA on April 20 leaving REST Super after seven years in a variety of roles, most recently as chief operating officer. Townsend started her career as a fixed income manager, before moving to REST as an investment manager, rising to become general manager of investments before […]
Hedge Funds

Unlisted managers turn into partners for large funds

A growing list of demands by large institutional investors when investing with unlisted asset managers is making them increasingly picky in their partners. Alignment of values, co-investments, joint-partnerships, strategy caps and fees that reduce with scale were all cited as essential by portfolio managers speaking at the Conexus Financial Private Assets Conference. Barry Brakey, head […]
Hedge Funds

First State Super catches up on infrastructure

First State Super is using its scale to directly invest in complex infrastructure deals that are out of the reach of other investors in a crowded market. Damian Webb, head of income and real assets at First State Super, told delegates at the Conexus Financial Private Assets conference in Melbourne how the fund has grown […]
Hedge Funds

Private equity market overheats

Private equity markets are overheated from cheap finance and the best deals are only coming from small niche investments, according to Siguler Guff. George Siguler, the founder of the private equity manager which has $10 billion in funds under management, cites Preqin research that shows managers worldwide have $3.8 trillion invested in the asset class, […]
Investment Strategy

Mavis Robertson remembered

Two of Mavis Robertson’s closest colleagues have paid tribute to her role in the creation of superannuation as we know it and her inspiration to those within the industry. Together with Garry Weaven, chair of IFM Investors and ME Bank, she was one of the instigators for a compulsory superannuation system for all Australians. Weaven […]
Policy and Regulation

Tax break for rich worst public policy since white Australia

Tax breaks in superannuation for the rich is the worst piece of public policy since ‘white Australia’, Garry Weaven pioneer of industry funds said at Conexus Financial’s 18th annual Investment Administration Conference. Addressing over 200 superannuation professional Weaven spoke on how most countries view Australia’s system as close to perfection, but despite this significant changes […]
Custody

The Future Fund sees data governance as critical

The Future Fund says it is incumbent on investors to analyse data to understand and reduce costs. The fund is augmenting and enriching its custodian’s data with information from other providers, like Bloomberg, to run stress and crash testing on a daily basis, identifying currency and derivative exposure. Campbell McCulloch, head of investment operations at […]
Administration

AustralianSuper contemplates foreign outposts

AustralianSuper has posed the question of whether it should have its own investment management and currency hedging teams based in Europe and America. Peter Curtis, head of investment operations at the $85 billion fund, who was speaking at the Investment Administration Conference in Sydney, said this was a model used by larger pension funds internationally. […]
Policy and Regulation

There is no one-size-fits-all best practice for super: APRA

There is no-one-size-fits-all way of complying with prudential standards, an APRA representative told delegates at the Investment Administration Conference. Robyn McMahon, general manager, diversified institutions division at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, urged funds to look at the intent of the standards and to think about what they were able to do to fulfil its […]
Governance

Super Salary Survey: How do they line up?

Two philosophies dominate superannuation remuneration – those who believe top dollar and bonuses attract the best, and those who believe this is the antithesis of the profit-to-members ethos John Pearce, chief investment officer of UniSuper, was the highest paid employee in industry superannuation in 2014.  In a not-for-profit sector where there is widespread unease at high […]
Governance

Super Salary Survey: Differences in Disclosure

What do the explanations for remuneration strategies given by funds reveal? The biggest clichés in super fund remuneration statements are that the trustees consult with independent external consultants to ensure pay is in line with industry standards and that incentive pay for CEOs and CIOs is based on key performance indicators (KPIs). Usually this is […]
Investment Strategy

HESTA appoints new CEO

HESTA has appointed Debby Blakey as its new chief executive. Blakey was the deputy chief executive serving under Anne-Marie Corboy, who announced her departure as chief executive last September after 16 years in the role. Internally, senior staff at HESTA, had expressed a desire to see Blakey made chief executive. Angela Emslie, HESTA chair, said: […]
Hedge Funds

Future Fund reallocates assets to reduce risk

The Future Fund has shifted its allocation away from developed markets equities and debt securities as it uses dynamic management to reduce risk levels at the margins. The volatile environment in global markets has led, in the past year, to a portfolio reduction of 360 basis points of equities in developed markets, a 130 basis […]
Policy and Regulation

Shadow Treasurer wants bipartisan agreement on super objectives

Chris Bowen MP, shadow treasurer, says that a bipartisan agreement on the objectives of superannuation can be reached. Addressing seventeen leaders of the superannuation industry, including chief executives of funds, directors of financial services companies and prominent thinkers, in an event hosted and created by Conexus Financial and Perpetual, Bowen asserted that clear objectives for […]
Hedge Funds

Smart beta at SSFS cuts volatility by up to 30%

A move to low volatility and quality equity strategies has seen State Super Financial Services (SSFS) reduce volatility by up to 30 per cent in more than half of its equity allocation. The $15.3 billion fund, which runs pension portfolios for retirees from State Super across nine different investment options, took the decision three years […]
CIO profiles

20% of chief investment officers out-earn chief executives

Ten super fund chief investment officers earned more than their chief executive in 2013/2014. Six of these earned more than their chief executive before bonuses, with the remaining four surpassing the chief executive because of bonuses. Jim Christensen, chief investment officer at Telstra Super, out earned his chief executive by $551,515, the greatest difference in […]
Administration

Sunsuper’s middle office pays its way

Sunsuper’s 12 strong investment operations team has identified over $10 million of potential cost savings and revenue in the last six months. The team, which has expanded by five members in the last year, has scrutinised portfolio activities to optimise cost efficiency from transactions, asset transitions, operational changes and tax liability. It has also improved […]
Hedge Funds

UniSuper defies naysayers on domestic economy

UniSuper’s overweight position on Australian equity income stocks has helped its balanced fund to become the highest performing in 2014, it achieved 10 per cent returns – the lowest performing fund achieved 5.3 per cent. John Pearce, chief investment officer of UniSuper, continues to keep faith in domestic stocks despite widespread sentiment that falls in […]
Hedge Funds

LGS bulks up investment committee

Local Government Super (LGS) has appointed Bev Durston and Robert Swift as its first independent investment committee members. Both were appointed after what the fund described as a “comprehensive search”. They will assist the committee in monitoring the performance of investment managers and oversee the work of the internal investment team and external asset consultant […]
Retirement

QSuper’s pension members win from Telstra buy back

QSuper has more than covered the cost of segregating $10 billion in pension fund assets by taking advantage of a share buy-back with Telstra. Telstra bought back $1 billion in shares in October as a way of using up spare cash, but the offer was not appealing to all shareholders because of the capital gains […]
CIO profiles

LUCRF seeks new CIO

Roger McIntosh has resigned as head of investments at LUCRF after one year in the role, weeks ahead of the appointment of two new independent trustees. McIntosh took a pay-cut to join LUCRF when he moved from Vanguard Investments where he had been for 14 years, most recently as head of investment strategy and research. […]
Investment Strategy

Unisuper to design own retirement products

UniSuper is in the planning stage of building several retirement products for its members rather than rely on off-the-shelf solutions from providers. The $45 billion fund wants to use its scale to create products such as a pooled longevity product with a mortality bonus for those that live longest, similar to Mercer’s group self- annuity, […]
Opinion

How actuaries came out on top in FSI report

I have seen David Murray speak three times over the past year and interviewed him for an hour at the office he shared with ASIC in Sydney. What has been growingly apparent from these encounters is his resistance to charm, to being swayed by emotion or to be distracted by tangential detail. As such, many […]
Investment Strategy

Super wide open for fraud – Trio whistleblower

Australian superannuation has been dubbed the “biggest pool of disengaged investment in the world”, by activist investor John Hempton of Bronte Capital, speaking at the IMCA annual conference. Hempton, who was taking part in a discussion on fraud at the conference held in Sydney and Melbourne on December 3 and 4, warned this disengagement made […]
Investment Strategy

FSI: Threat of banks gaming the system denied

The threat of banks exploiting their business relationships with employers to cross-sell retail superannuation funds has been foiled by recommendations in the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), according to Industry Super Australia. David Whiteley, chief executive of the organisation representing industry funds, noted that several sections of the report will limit the ability of banks to […]
Investment Strategy

FSI’s backing of independent trustees “unenthusiastic”

The Financial System Inquiry’s recommendation that APRA-regulated superannuation funds should have a majority of independent trustees has been branded “unenthusiastic” by Industry Super Australia. Notably the section of the report containing the recommendation, which also calls for all chairs to be independents and for an arm’s length definition of independence to apply, starts out with […]
CIO profiles

Sam Sicilia named CIO of the year

HostPlus’s successful exploitation of the long investment horizon of its young member demographic has seen Sam Sicilia named as the FEAL/ La Trobe Financial chief investment officer of the year. The strategy has seen HostPlus achieve top quartile investment returns for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years to the end of June 2014. Speaking […]
Investment Strategy

Small fund custodial fees to rise

Small superannuation funds should expect significantly higher custody costs in the next few years as custodians leave the market, a leading consultant has warned. Drew Vaughan, director of Dymond, Foulds and Vaughan, believes that eight players in the Australian market (NAB Asset Servicing, J.P. Morgan, BNP Paribas, State Street, Citigroup, Northern Trust, HSBC Bank, BNY […]
Hedge Funds

Cbus adds six to its investment team

Kristian Fok wants to add an Australian equities analyst to better inform the largest stock positions held by Cbus and to help tailor portfolios to better reflect its risk profile. The appointment would bring the number of new additions to the Cbus investment team to seven. Speaking at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium in the Mornington […]
Investment Strategy

Sunsuper boosts appeal to national employers

Sunsuper is using its new referral program with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) to lure national employers based in Melbourne and Sydney. The program sees it retain its in-house team of advisers in Queensland and Sydney and add direct relationships with adviser practices nationwide which share the fund’s philosophy of always acting in […]
Investment Strategy

HESTA wins AIST’s top award for excellence

HESTA’s ‘one click rollover’ campaign has won the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees’ Platinum Communication Award. The campaign uses big data principles to produce personalised mobile-responsive rollover requests and resulted in tens-of-thousands of members engaging and staying with the fund. In the category for funds with less than $5 billion funds under management AMIST won […]
Hedge Funds

QSuper imagines long life insurance

QSuper has envisioned a process for creating its own deferred annuity that would be one part investment and one part a group insurance contract. Speaking after a hard hitting oration to the ASFA annual conference in which she called for a “second super revolution”, Rosemary Vilgan, chief executive of QSuper, said this product could be […]
Investment Strategy

Quadrant Super and Tasplan confirm $3bn merger

Wayne Davey, the current chief executive of Quadrant, has been chosen to lead the merged operations of Tasplan and Quadrant super funds from November 2015. The new board will be chaired by Naomi Edwards, the current chair of Tasplan, while the current chief executive of Tasplan, Neil Cassidy will retire on that date. Four current […]
Hedge Funds

LGS board rocked by nuclear fallout

A disagreement between Local Government Super (LGS) and the trade union Depa over whether to invest in nuclear energy stocks has led to the replacement of the union’s director at the fund. The decision by Depa follows the fund’s move to drop its screen on companies involved in nuclear power generation, while at the same […]
Unintentional

Investors must be free from political direction

The decision of the Australian National University’s endowment to divest shares in seven resource companies is not an unusual move within the context of institutional asset owners. How those investors choose to allocate their assets has nothing to do with any government and they should not feel pressure to invest in any one company, asset […]
Investment Strategy

Cbus board to face unprecedented scrutiny

The governance of Cbus is to face an unprecedented level of public scrutiny after its decision to allow Graeme Samuel, the previous chair of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to conduct an independent review into its governance processes. The review is designed to assure contributing employers and members of the strength of its governance […]
Investment Strategy

AustralianSuper discloses senior pay and bonuses

AustralianSuper has increased transparency around the pay and bonuses of senior staff in line with regulation and corporate governance best practice. Chief investment officer, Mark Delaney, earned the highest out of all executives at the fund. His $971,000 salary, includes base salary and superannuation of $611,000, a bonus payment of $345,963 and long service accrual […]
Retirement

Mercer launches game changer for annuity market

Mercer is applying for a global patent for a group self-annuitisation product that already has three major super funds signed up for launch in 2015. At a fee of 40bps the product is intended to provide better value for money than lifetime annuities where investment gains above the amount needed to meet guaranteed payments are […]
Investment Strategy

Prime Super six months after the merger

Prime Super is open to further mergers, it has put the appointment of a chief investment officer on hold and answered criticism of its merger with HIP. Speaking six months after Prime merged with the Sydney based HIP, Lachlan Baird, chief executive of the combined operation, whose business card carries the logos for both Prime […]
Retirement

Mercer to launch pooled self-annuitisation product

Mercer is to launch a group self-annuitisation product into the Australian market next week. The full details have not yet been disclosed, but those close to its inception have described it as a game-changing product with two prominent funds linked to it. What is known is that Mercer will pool retirees in an investment strategy […]
Hedge Funds

Future Fund co-invests to eke out extra return

The Future Fund is accelerating its program of co-investments as a means of improving its margin of return. Its investment team broadly agrees with the recent International Monetary Fund assessment of the world now entering a five year period of low growth. So while the fund achieved returns of 14 per cent in the year […]
Hedge Funds

AustralianSuper questions MySuper debate

AustralianSuper has broken a long silence on the MySuper debate by defending itself from criticism that it has not innovated. Alistair Barker, investment manager at AustralianSuper, speaking ahead of a presentation he is to make at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium on November 19, says the fund did its greatest thinking on its default fund just […]
Investment Strategy

Line-up of industry experts to choose best superannuation funds

Conexus Financial, the publisher of Investment Magazine and Professional Planner will again recognise outstanding achievement in superannuation when it hosts the third Superannuation Fund of the Year Awards Evening in Sydney in May. The awards have evolved to embrace input from key industry stakeholders, whose experience and expertise will be integral to identifying the best funds […]
Investment Strategy

Paul Sayer to become CEO of TWU Super

Paul Sayer is to leave his post as chief operating officer of REST Superannuation to become chief executive of TWU Super. Sayer will become the fourth chief executive TWU Super in the space of two years. Debora Jackson, who took over from Bill McMillin in January 2013, left the fund towards the end of last […]
Hedge Funds

Anne Whittaker to retire in December

Anne Whittaker, chief investment officer of Australian Catholic Super is to retire and will leave in December after more than six years at the fund. The $6.2 billion fund has been working with a head hunter to find a replacement after Whittaker revealed her plans in July. Richard Haddock, chair of the fund, said the […]
Hedge Funds

Conservative options face grim five-year forecast

A scenario analysis tool developed by Frontier Advisors is confronting superannuation funds with the likelihood that their return objectives could be difficult to achieve over the medium term. The consultant has been offering its web based Prism tool to clients since April to allow them to carry out stress testing of portfolios and to see […]
Administration

Superpartners: The journey to Rhodes

“You really should visit our offices in Rhodes”. In a sector renowned for thinning profit margins and risky, expensive product development, the ebullience of Link Group has stood out. So it is little surprise the chief executives of AustralianSuper, Cbus, HESTA, HOSTPLUS, MTAA Super have taken the taxi ride to Rhodes in Western Sydney and […]
Hedge Funds

Three funds move into social impact investment space

The $31 billion QBE investment portfolio is to place $100m in social impact bonds in the belief that opportunities for such investments will expand greatly in the years to come. It is part of a general move to diversify assets in the QBE portfolio, which until now has been dominated by developed world government and […]
Hedge Funds

ACSI: Australian companies, probably the best governed in the world

The standard of governance among listed Australian companies leads the world, states the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors’ (ACSI), after it unveiled progress on checking excessive pay. ACSI’s annual survey on chief executive pay shows median termination payments at Australia’s largest listed companies have shrunk from $3.5 million in 2008 to $1.3 million in 2013. […]
Hedge Funds

Sunsuper seeks more smart partnerships with fund managers

Sunsuper is to expand on its success in partnering with distressed debt and private equity managers by seeking partnerships with listed equity managers too. The $30 billion fund has gained large returns from offering quick and often short-term finance to fund managers it has built up long-term relationships with in the private capital space and […]
Unintentional

Is our industry authentic about serving all members?

Many thought Alice Springs was an odd choice for last week’s AIST ASI conference. Perhaps the rationale was not explained well, but CEO Tom Garcia felt rather than another junket, it was better the industry understood the plight of our country’s first people and to leave a decent wad of cash behind in one of […]
Hedge Funds

Product dashboards to reveal fund rankings

Super funds may soon have to display industry average fund performance and fees on their MySuper product dashboards. Speaking at the AIST ASI conference in Alice Springs, Alex Purvis, senior manager for superannuation at ASIC, revealed consumer testing of the proposal had proved popular and that the Treasury would now decide on whether to require […]
Hedge Funds

QSuper spreads word on peer unaware benchmarks

QSuper used two sessions at the AIST ASI conference to explain its shift away from peer-benchmark investing, following its move to cohort strategies earlier this year. Greg Hall, portfolio manager at QSuper, spoke of how messages of future projected adequacy of income in retirement from the fund outweighed any other information members received. Research of […]
Policy and Regulation

Ken Marshman’s riposte to Grattan Institute report

An alternative set of proposals for reducing costs and boosting competition to those in the Grattan Institute Super Sting report, were presented by Ken Marshman, chair of REST Super at the AIST ASI conference in Alice Springs. In a stirring and strident presentation which avoided an outright confrontation with Jim Minifie, the author of Super […]
Hedge Funds

Tasplan-Quadrant to lay down law to global equity managers

A combined $4 billion Tasplan and Quadrant Super is to reassess all global equity managers on their willingness to screen out tobacco stocks. The two funds are in the closing stages of a due diligence process to begin a merger. Due to their relatively small scale, both invest in pooled funds which makes it harder […]
Hedge Funds

Budget crisis? What crisis? Four investors give their views

Talk of an economic crisis has dominated the front pages of newspapers ever since Joe Hockey delivered his budget speech on May 13. Many investors are exasperated at the impact this is having on markets, particularly as many view the Australian economy as healthy by global standards. Political commentators have called on the Coalition to […]
Unintentional

Numbers moving to SMSF stalls

David Atkin, chief executive of Cbus has declared the growth in members of industry funds leaving for self-managed super funds at an end. The announcement comes the same day the scheme launches a member direct platform to cater for large account holders who want to manage their own investments. “Members moving to SMSF is an […]
Policy and Regulation

Banks and industry funds unite against FSI proposals

“It is clear…. that the banking system is considerably less competitive than the superannuation system, is systemically more risky and extracts a greater cost from the overall economy.” This extract from a submission sent by Greg Cooper, managing director of Schroder Investment Management Australia to the Financial System Inquiry, is perhaps the most damning put-down […]
Opinion

The political shame in delaying rises in SGC for 7 years

There is a global pension underfunding crisis and yet Australians are set to lose $128 billion in savings because the Federal Government has tied up superannuation policy with the repeal of the mining tax. Superannuation policy should not be part of the political system and it’s time the industry did something about it. The Financial […]
Hedge Funds

AMP Multi Asset Group structure finalised

AMP has finished the centralisation of its fund manager teams, creating four separate chief investment officer roles under the leadership of Sean Henaghan. Following the exit of Stephanie Weston at the start of the year, the retail investment management function has been wound down and transferred from AMP to the multi-asset group at AMP Capital […]
Hedge Funds

Future Fund creates twin leadership roles

The Future Fund has promoted internally to fill its chief investment officer role, while passing the responsibility for portfolio risk setting to another role. Dr Raphael Arndt, the fund’s former head of infrastructure and timberland, is now CIO, while Stephen Gilmore, the fund’s current head of investment strategy, will take on responsibility for monitoring total […]
Retirement

RiceWarner: beating annuities “easy” for super funds

Superannuation funds can offer retirement accounts that easily exceed the income from annuities, believes Rice Warner. Michael Rice, chief executive of the actuarial firm, is working with several large funds to help them convert a member’s account-based pension into a distributing trust, with separate cash and capital accounts. The cash accounts would make pension payments […]
Investment Strategy

AustralianSuper claims growing influence on ASX200 governance

Superannuation funds are winning their efforts to make Australian companies adopt long term thinking, according to Andrew Gray, investment manager, governance at AustralianSuper. Longer-term remuneration structures are coming into place and there is a greater acknowledgement of environmental sustainability and dangers. Part of the shift in behaviour is due to AustralianSuper’s growing ownership of ASX200 […]
Investment Strategy

David Murray profile: superannuation put on trial

How worried should the superannuation industry be by the contents of the Financial System Inquiry’s interim report? The comments made by David Murray in the interview, the day after the report was published, reveal an entirely unsentimental view of the industry. The report is critical of the worth of active management, the general level of […]
Retirement

QSuper wins pension fund of the year

QSuper has been chosen as Pension Fund of the Year for the second year running at the Chant West | Conexus Finanical Super Fund of the Year awards. QSuper was shortlisted alongside Asgard’s Infinity eWRAP Pension and Colonial First State’s FirstChoice product. After accepting the award Rosemary Vilgan, chief executive of QSuper spoke about her […]
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