WEEKLY WRAP: Express Super partners with Macquaries SMA

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Xpress Super partners with Macquarie SMA

Launched in April 2013, Xpress Super is pleased to announce the addition of the Macquarie Separately Managed Account (SMA), known as the Macquarie Personal Portfolio, to its platform. The Personal Portfolio provides SMSF trustees with the ability to utilise a professional investment team to manage their portfolio, while providing a greater level of transparency than managed funds. SMAs allow trustees to see what they own and how their portfolio is being managed on a day-to-day basis.

Xpress Super’s CEO Olivia Long said: “We chose Macquarie’s Personal Portfolio because it provides SMSFs the best of both worlds: direct ownership of shares and professional investment management – the trustee owns the assets that are then professionally managed on their behalf. We chose Macquarie for its strong track record managing SMAs and for the depth of its research and investment process.  It is our intention to continue to add products to the Xpress platform that SMSF trustees would want to incorporate into their super fund.”

Professional Investment Services implements Xplan as whole of network advice platform

Professional Investment Services (PIS) and IRESS have successfully implemented XPLAN as a white-label Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) compliant solution for the Professional Investment Services network.

The PIS-branded COMPASS platform delivers the breadth of functionality of XPLAN for advisers, with the backend support for PIS to manage remuneration and effective oversight post FOFA.

Tizzy Vigilante, IRESS executive general manager Wealth Management, said IRESS has worked side-by-side PIS to deliver  an  advice  platform  that  not  only  enables  PIS and its advisers to meet the new FOFA obligations, but that also significantly improves functionality and workflow.

“While Professional Investment Services has used XPLAN as a core solution since 2008, many practices in their network were using a variety of legacy systems,” Vigilante said. “The challenge was to transition those businesses looking to benefit from the services being provided by Professional Investment Services through technology and access scale benefits.”

New SMSF iSystem in high demand with financial advisers

The latest cloud-based application SMSF iSystem is proving to be a ‘must-have’ solution for financial advisers, with recent uptake already exceeding expectations following its launch to the market just over eight weeks ago.

The revolutionary SMSF iSystem, designed to help financial advisers establish a self-managed super fund in 20 minutes or less, was officially launched in April this year by SMSF administrators Superfund Wholesale.

Superfund Wholesale, who worked in conjunction with Class Super and  MYP Corporation to develop and administrate the advanced cloud-computing software over the past two years, has already signed 3 dealer groups, over 25 financial advisers and administer over 500 funds despite early days on the market.

Altair unveils series of senior appointments

Australian equities manager, Altair Asset Management, today announced a series of appointments to its team of Australian equities experts.

Managing Director Philip Parker said, “Altair is focused on active management of investment strategies and client portfolios. The ability to be nimble, confident and responsive is the key to active management.”

Launched last month, Altair is headed by Mr Parker, whose career in investment markets spans funds management, dealing and advising.

The new appointments announced are:

  • Alvin Chan - Portfolio Manager/Analyst
  • Cindy Liu - Senior Quantitative Analyst
  • Daniel Stein - Associate Analyst
  • Toby Bellingham – Equities Trader

PIMCO Hires Aaditya Thakur as vice president, portfolio manager

PIMCO, a leading global investment management firm, has hired Aaditya Thakur as a vice president, portfolio manager. Thakur joined PIMCO on July 1, and is based in the firm’s Sydney office, reporting to Rob Mead, head of Asia-Pacific Credit Portfolio Management & head of Portfolio Management Australia.

“Our Asia-Pacific portfolio management team is further expanded with Mr. Thakur being the second new member joining the team this year. This reflects PIMCO’s conviction that Asian investment opportunities will be an increasingly important lever for generating returns for our clients in the coming years,” said Mr. Mead.

PIMCO, which has operated in Australia since 1998, has about AUD35 billion of assets under management locally and USD2.04 trillion globally as of March 31, 2013.

BetaShares selects Rabobank Australia Limited for Cash ETF

BetaShares has announced that it has selected Rabobank Australia Limited to join its panel of authorised deposit-taking institutions for the BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF.

Trading under the ASX Code “AAA”, BetaShares’ Cash ETF aims to provide attractive and regular income distributions combined with a high level of capital security. All the assets of the ETF are invested in high interest bank deposit accounts with a panel of banks regulated by APRA in Australia.

The Cash ETF, which was launched in March 2012, was the most popular ETF in Australia by way of net inflows in 2012 with approximately $125 million of net flows.

ANZ allocates $1 billion under ANZ Capital Notes Bookbuild

ANZ announced that following strong investor demand for its offer of ANZ Capital Notes, ANZ has agreed to allocate $1 billion under the Bookbuild, with the margin for the proposed issue set at 3.40% per annum.

As previously announced, the ANZ Capital Notes Offer forms part of ANZ’s on-going capital management strategy.

New addition to Bennelong Funds Management’s sales team

Bennelong Funds Management (BFM) has appointed Jodie Saw to the role of director, Distribution QLD. The new role has been created to grow the Group’s retail footprint throughout Queensland and provide a robust platform to support growth in BFM’s funds under management, currently at just under $5 billion.

BFM CEO Jarrod Brown said the Group was pleased to announce a permanent presence in the Queensland region. “Our existing sales team has built strong relationships with advisers and investors in this state. The introduction of the new role will enable us to better service these groups and grow our presence.”

Saw has over 16 years’ experience within financial services, joining BFM from AIW Dealer Services where she was practice development manager responsible for the group’s national network of advisory practices. Previously, she worked as a business development manager with Challenger Financial Services Group.

Zurich supports local charity partnerships

Zurich supports local charity partnerships through Global Community Week by doubling its donations

In just one week Zurich’s offices across Australia and New Zealand raised over $19,000 through fundraising activities for The Smith Family, Cancer Council and Variety in New Zealand as part our Global Community Week initiative.

The Zurich Group launched Global Community Week for the first time last year which was an opportunity for Zurich in Australia and New Zealand to partner with community valued charities The Smith Family and Variety - The Children’s Charity. To date, we have been able to provide financial support through donations and staff pay roll giving which has contributed over $200,000 to their cause.