Assets under management make a move in March

THE financial markets industry has been one of the quickest growing for a long time here in Australia. The latest bulletin from the KPMG Financial Services Division analyses this industry in some depth. There are some interesting statistics that are revealed in this publication. Some of the more interesting ones are as follows.

p For the March quarter of 2001, total assets under management for the industry grew by 2.5 per cent from $610.9 billion in December 2000 to $625.9 billion in March 2001.

p The top 10 managers account for 62.4 per cent of the industry. This is slightly below the previous quarters market share of 62.9 per cent.

p AMP remains in the number one position in terms of total assets under management but the National/MLC merged entity is displaying the greatest growth in the industry. They currently manage around $43.4 billion compared with the AMP’s $72.4 billion and the Colonial First State Investment Group, which manages $59.7 billion.

p In the retail market, the preferences of Australians can be seen in the break-up of the money under management. Retail Superannuation accounts for 38 per cent of the market, Allocated Pensions and Annuities 15 per cent, Insurance Bonds 3 per cent, Unit Trusts 42 per cent and Friendly Society bonds 2 per cent. This is a marked difference from the figures that we would have seen in the late 1980s.

p Alternative investment vehicles, like Socially Respon-sible Investments (SRI), Absolute Return or Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds and Exchange Traded Funds. At this stage, there is approximately $400 million invested in ethical products in Australia. In the area of SRIs it appears that fund managers are jumping on the bandwagon in droves.

The trends that KPMG identify within the industry are for improvements in a number of areas. Some of these are.

p The adoption of the US system of T+1 (Settlement of all trades within one working day of the transaction) from 2004 will place pressure on the ASX to also toe the international line.

p The US has already moved

to a system of mutual funds disclosing “After-Tax Re-turns”. There seems little doubt that we will also move to a similar system.

p The ASX is already exploring the possibility of listing all retail managed funds in Australia. This will then

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