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Colonial charts new territory

Colonial Financial Services says its range of products is complete now it has launched its Navigator Select Investor Service master fund.

Friday, August 7th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Colonial Financial Services says its range of products is complete now it has launched its Navigator Select Investor Service master fund.
While Navigator appears to be reasonably similar to other such services, including Prudential's Pathfinder, it does have some points of differentiation such as the inclusion of United Kingdom-based Investment Trusts, the use of a blind trust structure (as opposed to a master trust), and a binding ruling from the Inland Revenue Department which provides investors certainty over the tax status of fees.

General manager David May says Navigator fills the last and very important gap in the group's range of full service, no load quality products.
Navigator is considered a strategic service for the Colonial group and it is "here to stay," May says.
The product won't be withdrawn in two years time, even if it is not generating a profit, he says.
Navigator is not a collective investment vehicle as it uses a blind trust. By having a blind trust between the investor and the underlying funds, rather than a master trust, investors are taxed the same way as direct investors.
Jarden Morgan Investment Services did navigator's fund selection. In total it has 33 pre-selected funds from 22 managers, including investment trusts.
Only two Joseph Banks trusts, the Tasman Select Equities and the Australasian Equities trusts, were included.
May says Colonial did not want to "take a supermarket approach" and include every fund in the Navigator service, rather it used a "strict selection criteria" to keep the number down.
The fees charged by participating managers range from a mezzanine level down to wholesale.
Investors using Navigator pay an administration fee of between 0.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent, depending on the gross assets under management, and there is a negotiable upfront fee of up to 5 per cent.
Navigator will be sold by "quality selected advisers", May says. About 45 of Colonial's 85 franchised agents will be able to sell the service, and it will be available to selected independent financial advisers.
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