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News Round Up

AXA rolls out three sector funds, FPIA on disclosure, Ratings changes and Money Managers hits Queen Street.

Tuesday, July 31st 2001, 12:11AM

AXA has launched its first three funds in New Zealand following the creation of its joint venture with Alliance Capital last year.

The three wholesale unit trusts, designed specifically for master trust and wrap services, are sector funds investing in technology, healthcare and US shares. The funds are operated in Melbourne with portfolio management by Alliance Capital from New York.

Manager of personal funds management, Mark Pickering, says that "AXA sees these new funds as the first of a number of opportunities for New Zealand investors arising from the company’s joint venture with Alliance Capital Management."

"These AXA products bring in Alliance Capital’s world class asset management skills, providing investments which have delivered superior long-term performance, drawing on global capacity, experience and expertise."

The three Funds imported by AXA are Australian-domiciled with all investments (and withdrawals) made in Australian dollars. A minimum investment of A$100,000 per fund is required.

FPIA on adviser regulation

The Financial Planners & Insurance Advisers Association endorses the Securities Commission's suggestion that current disclosure rules for financial advisers need tightening.

(A year ago when the commission released its annual report it said a review of the financial planning industry was at the top of its work list. It sited disclosure and regulation as being areas of concern - see Commission has planners in its sights. However, it again raised the issues when it released its latest report last week).

 FPIA chief executive Phillip Matthews is currently researching the regulation issue. Early indications suggest there is strong support for a review of the current investment adviser disclosure rules.

"The current act is essentially a compromise position negotiated several years ago by a number of interested parties. Like so many compromises it does not well serve those it is designed to protect."

"FPIA members abide by a wide ranging Code Of Ethics which includes a mandatory disclosure regime including all of the requirements of the current Act as well as a number of others. The objective of our disclosure rules is to give the client all of the information they need to make an informed decision about their adviser in a timely fashion. We would be very supportive of any change to legislation which made that a requirement across the whole of the financial advisory industry."

Money Managers hits Queen Street
Money Managers is planning to open a street level office in Auckland's Queen Street.

The idea is a bit of an experiment, franchise director Alan Anderson says. He says the concept is based on the investment shops which many of the fund managers, including BT have, in Australia.

Anderson says there are a significant number of people now living in apartments in the central business district.

The 100 m2 office is at 77 Queen Street and will be open on the weekends and it will have hours of 7.30 am to 6pm.

Ratings changes
FundSource has put all BT's international equity funds on hold following the departure of BT's head of equities Chris Selth.

The funds affected are the NZ International Share Fund, Lifetime Plan International Share Fund and Select Markets International Share Fund.

Meanwhile, Morningstar has kept a not-yet-rated status on the National Bank's funds even though it has re-rated two of the sub managers - AMP Henderson and Merrill Lynch.

The manager reviews follow the departure of AMP Henderson's NZ equities portfolio manager Stephen Walker.

Morningstar reduced the sector strength ratings for the bank's NZ fixed interest, NZ shares, Trans-Tasman shares and Australian equities funds. The existing not-yet-rated status for National Bank the company was maintained, pending rating more of the bank's funds under management, while eight funds continue to have Morningstar star ratings.

« Everyone's talking about regulationSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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