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International tech, ETFs top holdings among Aussies

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

InvestorDaily

Australian investors seemed to have transitioned away from a local bias in 2019, Saxo Bank has said, as clients using its platform have flocked towards international technology giants and ETFs. During the past year, the S&P 500 surged 29 per cent in US dollar terms, making for its best year since 2013.  Adam Smith, chief executive of Saxo Markets Australia commented: “Even though 2019 was characterised by high geopolitical uncertainty around the US-China trade war and Brexit, this did not drag on the long-term performance of global markets.

“Many who exercised patience between tweets and headlines throughout the year were very well rewarded.” Australian companies topped the ranks for most traded stocks among Saxo clients, with Afterpay, Fortescue Metals Group, BHP and Zip Co at the head of the list. Microsoft was the fifth most traded single stock. In ETFs, Vanguard ruled the roost: its Australian Shares Index ETF, US Total Market Shares Index ETF and FTSE Emerging Market Shares ETF were the most traded funds.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

ESG profits continue to grow

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking News

InvestorDaily

ESG investment strategies are growing in profitability, with new geographic trends adding to their value. Amundi Asset Management analysed the performance of 1,700 companies across five investment universes, corresponding to MSCI indices. Their research – ESG investing in recent years: New insights from old challenges – found that ESG strategies tended to penalise ESG investors between 2010 and 2013, but rewarded investors after 2014.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

BlackRock doesn’t have all the answers

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

InvestorDaily

Earlier in January, BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – joined Climate Action 100+, a group that pressures companies to divest from fossil fuels. It marked a massive change for the investment giant, whose record on climate change has been shaky at best. BlackRock supported just five of 41 climate proposals at company meetings through 2019, and was more likely to support management at fossil fuel companies, according to advocacy group Majority Action.

In fact, BlackRock voted against all of Climate Action 100+ resolutions, meaning their joining the group must have been awkward. To be a fly on that wall. But we probably shouldn’t hold past sins against them. After all, Larry Fink seems to get it. It’s rare, even within the growing ESG community, for somebody to wrap their head around the huge impact that climate change will have on not just money, but the world. “Will cities, for example, be able to afford their infrastructure needs as climate risk reshapes the market for municipal bonds?” Mr Fink wrote in his letter to CEOs.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

Aberdeen teams up with HUB24 on advice initiative

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in News

InvestorDaily

Asset manager Aberdeen Standard Investments has partnered with financial advice platform HUB24 as it attempts to combine digital tools with adviser input to deliver better customer outcomes. In a statement, Aberdeen said it will also provide a range of managed portfolio solutions on HUB24’s platform to help advisers meet client savings accumulation, investment and retirement income needs. It said it plans to provide HUB24 with the first customised solution to support advisers to better serve clients, followed by a solution for employers who want to give employees tools to better manage their finances and access to cost-effective financial advice.

Further, Aberdeen said another offering that helps advisers provide customised retirement income solutions will be made available in early 2021. Aberdeen Australia managing director Brett Jollie said the HUB24 partnership was a first step that would change the face of traditional financial planning and investing in Australia. “Not only does it provide a means for advisers to stay connected with more clients, it will also provide advisers with the tools to support more clients with their long-term savings. Baby boomers about to retire need reliable and personalised retirement income solutions,” Mr Jollie said.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

Westpac appoints new ‘battle-hardened’ chairman

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in News

InvestorDaily

The major bank has announced a successor to replace outgoing chairman Lindsay Maxsted. John McFarlane, an international banker with more than 40 years’ experience, has been brought in by Westpac’s board to steer the bank through immediate challenges and anoint a permanent chief executive, succeeding long-time incumbent Lindsay Maxsted in April. After a global search, Westpac revealed on Thursday Mr McFarlane would join the board as a non-executive director next month, subject to regulatory approvals, before replacing Mr Maxsted as chairman on 2 April, marking the 72-year-old Scottish-born banker’s return to the Australian industry after previously serving as ANZ Banking Group CEO from 1997 to 2007.

Mr Maxsted in November brought forward his plans to step down in the first half of this year in the wake of allegations by regulator AUSTRAC, which also resulted in the departure of CEO Brian Hartzer, replaced on an acting basis by then chief financial officer, Peter King. Mr Maxsted, who served on the board since March 2008 and chairman since December 2011, said Mr McFarlane was a respected industry leader globally, having worked across several aspects of banking and insurance, plus 27 years of board experience at some of the world’s leading financial institutions. Mr McFarlane will be responsible for appointing a permanent CEO upon conclusion of the underway internal and external search, Mr Maxsted added.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

Super funds see best returns in six years

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

Investment Magazine

Australia’s superannuation industry recovered in 2019 with the global equity market, posting the biggest return since 2013. The median growth fund, where the bulk of Australian super assets are allocated, returned 14.5 per cent for the calendar year, according to an estimate compiled by Chant West. A 24 per cent rally for domestic equities in 2019 and a gain of as much as 27 per cent in international shares boosted the results.

“Fund members will have every reason to be delighted when they see their end-December balances,” said Chant West senior investment research manager Mano Mohankumar. “It’s a much better result than what we could have expected at the start of the year and a major turnaround from a year ago.” The results come as the prudential regulator increases its focus on fund performance after publicly shaming the laggards of the industry when it published the results of its heatmaps last month.

The rest of this article can be found at investmentmagazine.com.au.

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