WEEKLY WRAP: People and Products

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ASX and SGX reveal exciting new innovation

ASX and Singapore Exchange (SGX) have announced their intention to establish a presence in each other’s co-location data centre to enhance customer connectivity to their markets.

From September, SGX’s co-location data centre in Singapore will host the ASX hub, providing direct connectivity to the ASX 24 futures market based at the ASX Australian Liquidity Centre in Sydney.

According to an ASX statement, this will allow customers in the SGX co-location data centre to connect more easily to ASX 24, resulting in an expected increase in the flow of futures market activity into Australia.

It will extend ASX’s international hub network, which currently includes Chicago, New York, London, Hong Kong and an existing location in Singapore. About 6% of ASX 24 futures and options volume is generated from its international hub network.

“The establishment of an ASX futures hub in the SGX facility bolsters the global distribution network for ASX 24, connecting more customers into the Australian market and enhancing our presence in Asia. This is a new initiative that is part of our plan to internationalise the ASX and it demonstrates that by working together with other exchanges we can deliver new and greater investment opportunities to Australian and foreign investors,” said ASX deputy CEO Peter Hiom.

LHP Diversified Investments Fund scores Lonsec ‘recommended’ rating

Lonsec has awarded a ‘recommended’ rating to the LHP Diversified Investments Fund. The fund is distributed by Certitude Global Investments to the Australian market.

According to an LHP statement, the ‘recommended’ rating indicates Lonsec’s conviction that the fund can achieve its objectives and, if applicable, outperform peers over an appropriate investment timeframe.

The LHP Diversified Investments Fund is a fund of hedge funds which invests in a range of specialist international managers with diversified underlying hedge fund strategies. These include relative value; long/short equity; market neutral equity; credit; fixed income; and global trading.  Its main objective is to achieve consistent absolute returns with a low correlation to traditional markets over the investment horizon (three to five years).

Proviso launches super comparison tool

Scaled advice technology specialist, Provisio Technologies, has released a super comparison tool that it claims will let advisors evaluate super switching options for their clients, and produce a Statement of Advice (SoA) in minutes.

“Providing advice, particularly in a phone-based environment is challenging as there are a number of steps in the sales and advice cycle required for compliance purposes,” said Diego Del Rosso, senior manager of strategic partners and alliances, Bendigo Wealth.

“This process is further complicated and can be protracted for the adviser due to product search requirements and the need to explain various strategies and of course the implications of those chosen strategies.

“Technology such as Provisio has enabled us to improve both advisory performance and customer experience.”

Steve Gibbs appointed to Australian Ethical board

Steve Gibbs, the former Australian Reward Investment Alliance chief executive, has been appointed to the Australian Ethical Investments board.

Gibbs joins the Ethical board as a director. He is also the chairman of Ethical’s research provider Corporate Analysis Enhanced Responsibility and a director of Hastings Funds Management.

BGL releases new automated contract note service to clients

SMSF software provider BGL Corporate Solutions has released a fully automated contract note service to clients.

BGL claims that the new service is a first as it not only integrates contract note data, but also provides the contract note PDF.

“This new services will save our clients hundreds of hours of data input each year. It is just so easy set up and use,” said BGL managing director Ron Lesh.

AIST appoints new executive manager of education

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) appointed Meegan George to the new role of executive manager of education this week.

George joins the AIST from the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA). She has previously worked at AMP, JP Morgan and RGA International.

BT Wrap launches new estimator tool to assist advisers with end of year activity

BT wrap has released a new estimator tool uses a client’s investment portfolio composition to determine when they are expected to receive their annual tax statement.

BT Financial Group head of platform products Kelly Power said BT Wrap was committed to making year-end processing times and tax statement delivery as quick and easy as possible for advisers and their clients.

“BT Wrap is a leader in year-end activity and statement delivery because we are constantly thinking of new ways to improve our processes,” she said.

OneVue appoints Mark Frost CEO of direct services

Platform provider OneVue has appointed Mark Frost to the newly created position of chief executive of direct services.

OneVue Group chief executive Connie Mckeage said, having announced three intermediated consumer platform deals since December last year, OneVue needed a dedicated resource with extensive client service experience to develop and grow thisarea of the business.

“Mark will oversee the platforms we are launching for the Australian SMSF Members Association, MAP Financial Services and the Australian Medical Association, and he will also play a big role in delivering other opportunities we have in the pipeline, one which we hope to announce in the coming weeks,” she said.

Frost added: “What we’re trying to do is give self-directed investors new and exciting tools, and at the same time assist them in identifying when and how to access advice.”

“We understand investors increasingly like to be in control of their investment decisions and being in control also means being able to choose when to turn to a specialist.

“We want to create an environment where investors are free to explore their options whilst not being afraid to seek advice.”

Frost has been in the wealth management industry for 20 years. He was formerly a vice president and client relationship manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and held various roles at UBS both in London and Sydney.

CFS Aspect Diversified Futures Fund maintains ‘highly recommended’ rating

Aspect Diversified Futures Fund has maintained its ‘highly recommended’ rating from Lonsec

Colonial First State formed an alliance with Aspect Capital Limited in 2009 to distribute the Aspect Diversified Futures Fund in Australia.

“The aim of the Fund is to generate significant medium-term capital growth, regardless of overall movements in traditional stock and bond markets, within a rigorous risk management framework,” said Aspect Capital CEO Anthony Todd. “Lonsec’s position is testament to the strength of the Fund’s strategy and management.”

AMP launches new Ascend SMSF service

AMP has launched a new version of its Ascend SMSF service to its financial advice network, with a range of enhancements and new features which it claims will strengthen the solution within AMP’s suite of SMSF offers.

AMP’s Ascend SMSF enables AMP aligned planners to deliver a better customer experience at a lower cost to the customer as a result of improved technology and usability, through the fund’s administration service and investment options, claims AMP.

The Ascend SMSF service is being rolled out to SMSF accredited planners in AMP’s aligned advice network in the second half of 2012 starting with AMP Financial Planning and Hillross.

There are two options within Ascend:

  1. Essentials: A package of SMSF-aligned products and services, including platforms, within the administration service. This provides an easy transition into SMSFs for planners and clients new to SMSFs.
  2. Platinum: A more flexible service with a broader range of products and services suitable for more sophisticated clients with the same benefits around online services, compliance and reporting.

ING DIRECT enters superannuation market

ING DIRECT has announced it will enter the superannuation market with a retail product in the third quarter of this year.

Click here for the full story.

IFM sells Wales & West Utilities, plans to reduce fees

The IFM International Infrastructure Fund has “divested its interest in Wales & West Utilities” following an agreement with Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) to acquire 100% of the company from existing shareholders.

A company statement noted that “this is a very opportunistic sale on behalf of our investors at a strong valuation premium. Wales & West Utilities has been a stable, core infrastructure investment for IFM and its sale delivers a strong return to investors while providing financial flexibility given the attractive acquisition opportunities across Europe and North America.”

Financial completion is expected by 30 September, and is subject to EU merger clearance.

The news came as IFM announced its intention to reduce its investment management fees.

EISS to sell FuturePlus

Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme (EISS) has announced that it intends to sell its administration business, FuturePlus Financial Services.

The sale is part of a review of EISS’s investments, which led EISS executives to decide that the fund would be better of shedding its administration arm to an organisation that specialises in that area.

JP Morgan expands investor services product team

JP Morgan Worldwide Securities Services has appointed Marian Azer to the Investor Services product team as head of global fund services product for Australia and New Zealand.

Azer will work closely with clients and the wider industry to identify market trends and develop client-focused solutions for the global fund services product division in order to support the firm's clients in executing their Australia and New Zealand growth strategy.

Azer joins from Mercer, where she was a principal, leading operational consulting for all aspects of investment implementation and operations for clients across Asia. Prior to this, she held a variety of client service, project and operations roles at BNP, Orion Asset Management and AAS.

  • Rich (from Paraplanner.com.au) on 27/07/2012 1:35:08 PM

    I am interested in the constant updates to Provisio software. I have seen many companies offer financial planning software that can "produce a Statement of Advice" document in minutes. If this software was teamed up with a modern, concise SoA template, it would be a big step forward.

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