WEEKLY WRAP: ETF market growth surpasses 40 per cent

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Year-to-date growth in the Australian exchange traded funds market has surpassed 40%, the State Street Global Advisors monthly industry update shows. This growth has been fuelled by financial adviser and continued SMSF investor adoption and their preference for on-exchange access to market opportunities, it said.

Former director of now-defunct property developer Ocean Key Holdings, Neil James Duckworth, has been found guilty of stealing more than $820,000. ASIC alleged he used money borrowed by his company and secured against land owned by the company to pay for personal and other unrelated expenses. Last Thursday a jury in Perth found Mr Duckworth guilty on 20 counts of stealing as a director. He will be sentenced on Friday.

Bennelong Long Short Equity Management has appointed Tim Hall as senior portfolio manager, expanding its investment team to five Australian equity specialists. Hall, who has over 16 years’ experience in the asset management industry, will start on 2 December.

Life insurer TAL has appointed respected industry claims expert Emlyn Pugh as head of retail claims. For the past three years he headed up life insurance claims management for ANZ/OnePath.

Specialist recruiter Robert Walters was named International Recruitment Company of the Year at the annual Recruitment International Awards in London. It won the same award in 2010.

Ascalon Capital Managers has sold its stake in H3 Global Advisors – an alternative investment manager specialising in managed futures and commodities investments – to Henderson Global Investors. H3 Global’s assets under management are more than $340 million.

Public sector financial advice specialist State Super Financial Services has opened its doors in Perth. Western Australia state manager Scott Phillips will lead the office, a team of ten.

First Super has recorded a strong 13.59% growth in its balanced option in its 2012-13 annual returns. First Super’s balanced option is 60% growth and 40% conservative, which helps protect an ageing membership profile against negative returns.

CMC Markets Stockbroking has signed a partnership agreement with theScreener, to become Australia’s first stockbroker to provide frequent traders with more detailed research, analyst reports and stock picking recommendations through a unique star-rated reports system.

This latest Certitude Global Investing Intentions Index increased from 160 points in September to 175 points in October, representing a rise of 9% month-on-month. The index measures actively-engaged Australian investors’ current appetite for investing overseas.