John Kavanagh
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State Street flexes its muscles on gender equality

State Street Global Advisors has made good on the commitment it announced earlier this year to start voting against companies that don’t have women on their boards. At a briefing in Sydney this week, Lori Heinel, State Street’s deputy global…

Trustees Australia’s new business strategy takes shape

Trustees Australia’s radical business overhaul over the past few months is starting to bear fruit, with the Association of Independently Owned Financial Planners endorsing its new investment platform. What does this mean? The AIOFP has added Trustees Australia’s “Cashwerkz” term…

ATO to target dodgy retirement schemes

The ATO has put financial planners on notice that it has detected a number of illegitimate schemes based around retirement planning. The ATO says it is focusing on closing down retirement planning schemes “whose design is directed towards reducing or…

Investors want planners with an ethical focus – survey

An increasing number of Australian investors expect their financial planners to be knowledgeable about socially responsible investment options and to recommend products that align with their values. The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia has released an investor survey, conducted by…

Big fund mergers: and then there was… ?

A dozen superannuation funds were consolidated during the 2016-2017 financial year, continuing a trend that has seen a 40 per cent reduction in the number of funds over the past decade. Where will this end? According to the latest Rice…

Infrastructure outlook takes a hit with big investors

Australia’s reputation as an attractive destination for infrastructure investment has taken a hit over the past year, with a big drop in the proportion of infrastructure investors saying they are “highly likely” to invest here and a high proportion expressing…

Crowdfunders at the starting blocks… and waiting for licences

A new crowdfunding platform has entered what promises to be a competitive market, with a number of groups awaiting ASIC approval to launch retail crowdfunding offers under new regulatory rules. The new player, Sharequity, has been set up by Geoff…

Federal Court primer on how not to run an advice practice

The Federal Court has imposed a $1 million penalty on a Melbourne financial planning company, Golden Financial Group (formerly NSG Services Pty Ltd), for 20 contraventions of ‘best interest’ obligations. It is the first civil penalty imposed since the best…

ASIC rule triggers shift to ‘low-cost’ fund options

A significant number of fund managers have responded to ASIC’s new fee disclosure rules by shifting to ‘low-cost’ vehicles for their asset class exposure. But there’s a catch for both funds and investors. Zenith Investment Partners, which observed the trend…

Who’s an adviser to believe? Researchers disagree on ratings

Planners may be left scratching their heads after the release of Morningstar and Zenith multi-sector fund reviews over the past week. Here are some of the conflicting reviews. Morningstar has awarded its highest rating, ‘gold’, to four Vanguard funds and…