News

News

Economic optimism running high as Australians get back to work

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in News

The New Daily

Many Australians are sitting on a pile of cash, property prices are rising, and nine out of ten jobs lost at the height of the pandemic have now returned to the workforce. The economic landscape for 2021 is positive and economists are confident that, in the absence of more widespread lockdowns, Australia will be a star performer among OECD countries. Households and businesses squirrelled away more than $200 billion in savings between January and November last year, according to figures from financial regulator APRA.

Commonwealth Bank head of Australian economics Gareth Aird said despite having been through a recession, household income was higher than before the pandemic as a result of federal government stimulus. “The household sector as a collective has actually experienced a positive shock to income over the COVID period, which is still going on right now,” he said. Mr Aird said wages, salaries and government payments going into Commonwealth Bank accounts are running well above pre-COVID levels.

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

Superannuation funds shrug off the pandemic to deliver ‘tremendous’ results

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

The New Daily

Superannuation funds have shrugged off the pandemic slump that roiled markets back in March, with the average growth or balanced fund returning an unexpectedly healthy 3.7 per cent for the 2020 calendar year. The top performing fund, Suncorp Growth, returned a massive 9.6 per cent. Chant West researcher Mano Mohankumar described the returns as “a tremendous outcome for super fund members and a great story for superannuation given the economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Although well below the 14.7 per cent that growth funds achieved in 2019, “it represents the ninth consecutive positive calendar year and the 11th in the past 12 years for growth funds”. “If we take ourselves back to late March, the prospect of finishing the year up 3.7 per cent would’ve been inconceivable,” Mr Mohankumar said. Independent economist Stephen Koukoulas said the strong returns had in part been driven by the economic recovery.

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

Xinja fate is a lesson for other fintechs: GlobalData

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary

Mortgage Business

Fintechs, including UK-based Monzo Bank, could face the same fate as Xinja unless they create a sustainable future, GlobalData has warned. According to GlobalData’s research report, Beyond the Hype: Insight into Digital Challenger, fintechs across the world, such UK-based neobank Monzo Bank (Monzo), could face a similar fate to Xinja Bank if it doesn’t diversify its revenue streams. The report includes an in-depth review of 11 digital challengers banks and their business models to ascertain the strategies they have taken and their short- and long-term future prospects.

The report also includes analysis about why mistakes were made, how banks have dealt with problems and what each challenger needs to do now to survive and grow in future. Katherine Long, banking analyst at GlobalData, said the move by Xinja to shut down its banking services and return its ADI licence was down to the fact that “any bank offering above-market deposit rates while not being able to deploy them back as loans was going to have problems”. “These are just symptoms of something bigger… behind all of these problems was an underlying cause: a lack of focus on essential revenue-generating products and incentivise customers to pursue mutually beneficial outcomes.”

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

State Super Appoints New CIO

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

InvestorDaily

The $44 billion super fund has appointed a new chief investment officer as it rises to meet challenging market conditions through 2021. Charles Wu will step into the role of chief investment officer at State Super. Mr Wu was previously deputy CIO and general manager for defined contribution investments and joined State Super in 2015. “During his time with State Super, Charles has made a significant contribution to our investment performance in an extremely challenging environment, resulting in State Super’s growth and balanced funds consistently being in the top quartile on a risk adjusted basis,” said chief executive John Livanas.

“Charles’ approach to risk management has allowed State Super to successfully navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital markets. With Gary Gabriel’s departure, Charles is now ready to step up to the ultimate investment leadership role as CIO.” Mr Wu will join the executive leadership team and the management investment committee. Reporting to him will be Keri Pratt, the newly appointed general manager for defined benefits, assets and liabilities; Sarah Gallard, senior manager for responsible investment; and Jonathan Chung, senior manager for portfolio risk. “I look forward to continuing to deliver value for our members. It is exciting to take on these responsibilities in the midst of ongoing market challenges,” Mr Wu said.

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

Ethical Investing on the Rise as Younger Australians Reject Fossil Fuels

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

The New Daily

Generational change is driving the move away from fossil fuel investments, with both superannuation funds and finance houses responding with targeted investment policies. Clean energy lobby group Market Forces has launched a campaign to push industry super fund Hostplus to reduce its fossil fuel exposure after pressure from the fund’s young membership. “Over the last year we have seen an uptick in Hostplus members using our website to call for divestment from fossil fuels,” said Market Forces asset-management campaigner Will van de Pol.

“They are mainly younger members who join Hostplus because their first jobs are in cafes and bars, and that demographic has pushed hard for real climate action around the world.” The campaign targeted Hostplus’s investments in coal-powered generation and coal mining through stakes in companies like AGL, Origin and BHP. Hostplus for its part said it was reviewing its options.

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

Netwealth Raises Inflows Guidance by $500m

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

InvestorDaily

Despite the COVID crisis, Netwealth has upped its forecast inflows for the 2021 financial year, after pulling a $4.8 billion (or 14 per cent) increase in funds under administration in the December quarter. As at the end of the 2020 year, Netwealth had $38.8 billion in funds under administration (FUA), a 36.1 per cent rise ($10.3 billion) on the prior corresponding period (pcp). There had been $2.6 billion in net inflows for the December quarter, contributing to its FUA net inflows of $9.2 billion for the 2020 calendar year.

Funds under management as at 31 December were $9.3 billion, rising by 15.5 per cent (or $1.3 billion) for the final quarter. During the three months, there had been FUM net inflows of $700 million and market movement of $500 million. Meanwhile the managed account segment pulled strong results, with its balance of $7.6 billion surging by 74.1 per cent on the pcp. There had been net flows of $3.2 billion for the 2020 year, a 63.9 per cent increase. While the impacts of COVID-19 had shaken the stability of global markets, Netwealth has signalled it expects to benefit from ongoing industry consolidation and change.

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

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