WEEKLY WRAP: PEOPLE, PRODUCTS AND COMPANIES: NAB’s first quarter trading update

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NAB’s first quarter trading update shows a slump in wealth cash earnings

NAB Wealth cash earnings before IoRE were lower in the quarter as disability insurance claims increased and lapse experience remained high. This was partially offset by stronger earnings from the Investments business. Funds under management were higher due to improved investment returns and stronger net flows from corporate super.

On a statutory basis, unaudited net profit attributable to the owners of the company for the was approximately $1.26 billion. Unaudited cash earnings were at approximately $1.45 billion, around 4% above the quarterly average of the September 2012 half year.

Commenting on the result, NAB Group CEO Cameron Clyne said it was pleasing, “especially given operating conditions remain challenging both in Australia and the UK, notwithstanding recent improvements in financial markets.”

“In this environment cost management continues to be a key priority but we remain mindful of the need to balance this objective against the importance of continued investment,” he said.

New fund set to rattle its competitors

A new fund offering a fresh investment philosophy and unique fee structure looks set to shake up the Australian financial services market.

The Conscious Investor Fund, which started taking subscriptions at the end of January, is based on a simple yet effective philosophy: to invest in quality businesses that have proven track records, and a management that is honest, capable and hard-working.

“We call these companies ‘Wealth Winners’, and our goal is simple: to deliver significant wealth creation over the medium term.” said Michael Levenston, director of operations and marketing at investment manager and trustee Conscious Capital Ltd.

“Many other funds will tell you that they aim to beat the market, yet they seldom actually do so. This is because their mandates virtually force them to invest in only the biggest companies, not necessarily the best,” Levenston added.

And it’s not just sales talk. The Conscious Investor Fund’s pro-forma portfolio results speak for themselves: 20.2% compound annual growth rate since inception in 2001.

AMP's FAN launches first of its kind iPad app for advisersAMP’s Financial Advice Network (FAN) has launched Evolve, an iPad app featuring advice tools that are fully integrated with advisers’ back-office systems, offering advisers and clients flexibility and efficiency.

AMP FAN’s Director of Advice and Licensing Simon Wallace said this mobile technology is the first of its kind in the Australian financial services industry and provides advisers with a valuable tool to assist them in the delivery of professional financial advice.

“Evolve allows advisers to capture, store and analyse client data on their iPad and brings a paperless office a step closer with the ability to capture digital client signatures as well as store photographs required for client identification,” Mr Wallace said.

Evolve is linked to the advisers’ software, so there is no need to keep separate records or manually re-enter data following a client appointment. These records can be emailed to the clients as a record of the meeting, eliminating the need to manually print and send material.

Mr Wallace said in today’s busy world advisers need an efficient way to engage their clients and demonstrate the value of their advice.

“The iPad app gives advisers another tool to help them do what they do best – deliver quality financial advice to their clients,” Mr Wallace said.

Sentry Financial Group Announces New Head of Marketing & Wealth Protection Manager

Sentry Financial Group (Sentry) Chairman and Managing Director Murray Hills has announced the appointment of Danny Maher to the newly created role Head of Marketing & Wealth Protection Manager. The appointment will be effective Monday February 11th.

Commenting on Danny Maher’s appointment, Murray Hills said the multi-faceted role would focus on implementing marketing programs to attract new practices, assist advisers to capitalize on growth opportunities and increase the dealer group’s life insurance / wealth protection business.

In welcoming Danny Maher to Sentry, Murray Hills said his extensive ‘hands on’ financial services industry background, reputation and experience together with his commercial and leadership skills were the key factors to his successful appointment.

“Danny Maher has an excellent reputation as a financial services professional and has successfully implemented, delivered and managed distribution, marketing and recruiting programs. He will be an excellent addition and member of the Sentry senior management team,” said Murray Hills.

New mandates vote of confidence in global investment manager

 Leading global investment provider, Certitude Global Investments (Certitude), today announced that it has won substantial new mandates for investment into three of its international investment funds.

 Certitude CEO, Craig Mowll, welcomed the recognition from investors. “These new mandates signify a high degree of confidence in Certitude and in our global investment partners. Given the current challenging investment climate, the wins provide further proof that our investment partners and products are well suited for the changing investor environment” he said.

 The three recent mandates, totalling $120 million include investments of:

  • $60 million into the Columbia Credit Fund;
  • $45 million into the Lighthouse Partners Global Long/Short Fund; and 
  • $15 million into the Certitude Asian Opportunities Fund. 

“These mandates have been entrusted to us by a large family office, a high net worth Boutique Dealer Group and a large trustee and multi-manager,” Mr Mowll said.  Mr Mowll added that Certitude sources the most talented active investment managers from around the world and brings their expertise to Australian investors.