Market Commentary

Anton Murray - Market Commentary

Super funds struggling with shift to digital

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

Researcher Investment Trends’ latest Super Fund Member Engagement report, compiled from surveys of the member services and activities of Australia’s largest 44 super funds, has found that super funds are “still learning to manage” their move to the online space. “Many super funds are making inroads in the development of their digital member service platform, but the move from internal processing systems to real-time member facing applications has been challenging,” said a statement from Investment Trends. Investment Trends technology analyst Ian Webster said the report found several super funds encountered various online stumbling blocks.

“This year, we observe many funds struggling with the reliability, consistency and quality issues in the real-time digital-based channels used to support and interact with their members,” he said. “However, super funds are gradually mastering the challenge of managing these channels more effectively, building upon basic content publishing towards digital channels that provide easy access to services and promote two-way engagement with members.” Among the top 10 super funds ranked according to overall member engagement score, nine were industry funds, with ANZ Smart Choice representing the only retail fund at tenth place.

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

Super gender gap narrows, but finance pay lags

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

The second half of 2018 saw the gender gap in superannuation narrow slightly, but other areas – such as the 26 per cent gender pay gap in the finance sector – indicate that “further work is still needed” to be done, according to the Financy Women’s Index. It revealed that Australian women’s economic progress improved marginally in the quarter leading up to June. The index reading for June was 111.0, up 0.3 per cent from the March quarter, which had a reading of 110.7.

The FWX, using data from Data Digger, measures the gender pay gap, women in full-time work, women’s employment participation rate, the tertiary education index, ASX20 board representation and the superannuation gender gap. The superannuation gender gap appeared to be diminishing slightly, with the report citing annual ABS statistics that showed a 6 per cent reduction in disparity between male and female super balances. That is, from 2013-14, women’s superannuation balances represented only 66 per cent of what men had, but in 2015-16 this had risen to 73 per cent.

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

Instos issue climate challenge ahead of G7

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

Australia’s largest investors have joined 288 institutions representing US$26 trillion to call on governments around the world to address climate change. The 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change has been delivered to government leaders ahead of the G7 Summit, which is held in Canada on 8 and 9 June. The statement, made by 288 institutions with US$26 trillion in assets under management, called on governments to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The key objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep global average temperature rises to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and preferably to 1.5 degrees. Australian signatories to the statement include AustralianSuper, First State Super, VicSuper, BT Financial Group and Colonial First State Global Asset Management. The statement also called on governments to accelerate private sector investment into the low-carbon transition and to commit to improving climate-related financial reporting.

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

More than half of instos expect to adopt AI

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

According to survey results from Northern Trust, nearly 60 per cent of institutional investors and asset managers located in Australia expect “meaningful adoption” of AI in under two years. Meanwhile, Singaporean and Hong Kong institutional investors see AI adoption happening in two to five years. For the financial services sector, Northern Trust head of market advocacy and innovation research for Asia Pacific Danielle Henderson said this would mean “a continuing transformation of the efficiency of operational services, the provision of increasingly insightful information and enhanced client experiences”.

“Market developments may include machine learning capabilities for faster and deeper data consumption, advanced analytics for better decision making and natural language generation for automated report commentary,” she said. Northern Trust head of global fund services for Asia Caroline Higgins added: “In Asia-Pacific we have seen regulatory changes either built within existing policy frameworks, or shifted, as the market landscape transforms. Amidst the fast-evolving financial market ecosystem and the growing importance of technological innovation, collaboration amongst financial institutions, technology enablers, regulators and governments is vital to supporting the efficiency, security and transparency emerging technology can bring.”

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

Sugar the next target for responsible funds

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

Speaking in Sydney, Martin Currie Australia portfolio manager Will Baylis said while sugar was not being negatively screened in their income strategies at present, it could escalate as an issue in years to come. “I would suspect, down the track, that sugar may well become quite topical,” Mr Baylis said. In March 2017 AMP Capital released a report that found sugar was emerging as an investment risk for the global food and beverage industry.

“UNPRI (the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment) are starting to raise the issue of sugar. So that is something that we would have to consider down the track, but we don’t today,” Mr Baylis said. Extending further, Mr Baylis said junk food could similarly become negatively screened, but that it was harder to screen for junk food than it was for sugar. “To my mind it may well be someone who manufactures and distributes junk food, but how do you define junk food?” he asked. According to Mr Baylis, sugar was more easily defined.

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