ASA strikes a deal

THE Australian Shareholders Association has struck a deal with Perpetual Investments to provide managed investment funds to its members.

The deal sets a new course for the ASA, which has been seeking ways to add value for its members following a review of the association’s operations late last year.

ASA has forgone the original idea to establish its own fund, instead deciding to back an existing manager.

“The end result is somewhat different to the original concept, however it does provide greater flexibility, has the ability to suit a wide range of investor risk profiles with low fees and therefore may be more appropriate,” ASA executive director Stuart Wilson said.

In Perth earlier this year, ASA chairman Ted Rofe indicated the association was expanding its horizons into the ballooning managed funds market.

Mr Rofe told Business News that, while major inroads have been achieved among public companies in terms of their accountability and corporate governance, the same could not be said for the managed fund fraternity.

He said the ASA would be embarking on a campaign that would ensure the investor money in these funds would be safeguarded. Targeting this market also would provide new areas of membership growth for the ASA, he said.

Membership in the ASA has more than tripled in the past four years. During 2001, membership grew 12 per cent to just short of 7,000, with more than 400 of these in WA.

Total revenue increased 18 per cent to $473,773, according to the 2001 annual report, while the operating surplus had fallen to $3,785 compared with a $18,847 surplus in 2000, which included a sales tax refund of $13,995.

The ASA board has been under scrutiny after the WA Branch’s nomination for a representation on the national board was left ignored.

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