WEEKLY WRAP: Senator calls for news site investigation

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In a Senate estimates session with ASIC last Wednesday, Nationals senator John Williams called for the corporate regulator to investigate the $3 million creation of The New Daily news site from workers' earnings. AustralianSuper, United Super and Cbus have poured at least $3 million in members' funds into the digital news site.

Crowe Horwath Australasia (formerly WHK Group) has appointed Chris Price as new chief executive and managing director, after the former chief executive, John Lombard, stepped down following a review of the company's performance.

ASIC has released a revised Regulatory Guide 133, on the custody of assets and standards to be met by asset holders. It also updated Regulatory Guide 166 to accommodate industry practice.
IFM Investors has appointed Greg Combet and Deborah Kiers to its board, effective 1 January. Combet was former minister for Industry and Innovation, minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and minister for Defence Personnel, Science and Material. Kiers is managing director of JMW Consultants, covering the Asia-Pacific region.

Investec Australia has rolled out a bespoke personal banking offering for financial advisers. The specialist bank currently works with around 250 independent financial advice firms nationally, managing approximately $750 million of their client funds. The new service includes being able to borrow up to 90% for residential and 85% for investment loans with no Lenders Mortgage Insurance, and up to 70% LVR for commercial property within a SMSF.

MLC has been appointed as insurer for one of Australia’s largest corporate superannuation funds, the Qantas Superannuation Plan (Qantas Super). MLC will provide insurance and claims assessment management to Qantas Super’s 33,000-plus members.

Australian Unity Investments seeks approval from investors in the Australian Unity Fifth Commercial Trust (FCT) to merge the trust with the larger, more diversified, Australian Unity Office Property Fund. Investors in FCT will be eligible to vote on the proposal via proxy or by attending a general meeting of investors in Melbourne on 11 December.

AustralianSuper has appointed Queensland-based institutional investment house (QIC) as its US investment manager for retail property. The appointment of QIC, which invests in shopping centres, is part of AustralianSuper's direct investing strategy and is an open-ended mandate to invest in dominant shopping centres.

Morningstar has given three of the 47 strategies they assessed a gold rating, the highest-possible Morningstar Analyst Ratings™. These were to Pimco EQT Australian Bond, Pimco EQT Global Bond, and Pimco EQT Diversified Fixed Interest.

Investment platform and fund services provider OneVue have completed the first $6.75m of an $8m capital raising programme.

Instreet Investment has created the Instreet Magellan Leveraged Units, which offers a twice-leveraged exposure to leading international equity fund Magellan Global Fund.