Australia’s position at forefront of regional funds management close to realisation: Equity Trustees

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With the Federal Government taking concrete steps to put in place the framework to allow Australian fund managers to compete for overseas investors, the industry is now in a strong position to attract international fund inflows, says Harvey Kalman, Equity Trustees’ executive general manager – corporate trustee services.

Harvey Kalman

“Putting Australia at the forefront of international funds management in the Asia-Pacific region has been a long-stated aim of both this and previous governments, and it is encouraging to see that this is now coming to fruition.

“Australia has the right experience in regulatory improvements, wealth advice and retirement planning, to take a true leadership position in the region, if we put in place the right tools – which is now starting to happen.

“In the past, when talking to overseas investors, a comment I regularly heard was that Australian investment vehicles were “off the radar” as far as they were concerned, because our funds didn’t meet what were generally regarded as international standards.

“However, with the introduction of the “investment manager regime”, and the Asia Region Funds Passport, Australian fund managers now have the right structure supporting them to allow them to take their offering to an overseas market on a level playing field with European and US asset managers.”

Mr Kalman said that the last piece of the puzzle has been putting in place a Collective Investment Vehicle (CIV) approach that can be readily accessed and used by international investors.

“Europe has had a CIV approach, the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS), for some time now which has given them a big advantage in moving into Asia and offering European funds to investors there.

“The Asia Region Funds Passport should provide a feasible alternative to UCITS that allow investment into Australian funds without concerns about the tax or currency implications.

“The result should be that we will see less Asian investment money heading to Europe and more being invested in Australian funds, thus creating greater economies of scale which can be passed on to investors.

“Furthermore, it would benefit the economy as a whole, capitalising on the expertise we have already developed in financial services and regulation to create jobs, increase investment opportunities, add tax revenue, and benefit our trading position.

“With continued growth anticipated in the Asian region over the coming decades, it is increasingly imperative we take steps now to ensure we are in a position to benefit from it,” Mr Kalman said.

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For more information please contact:

Harvey Kalman – Phone: 03 8623 5301

7 July 2015