PC benchmark

THE Productivity Commission has released a research report on public liability claims management. The commission was asked to benchmark Australian insurers’ claims management practices against world standards.

However, the commission found that what was best practice for one claim may not be best practice for another, depending on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction in which the claim arose.

GMO hedge fund

AFTER recently launching its Global Asset Allocation Trust, GMO Australia has now set up a long-short equities hedge fund, the Australian Market Neutral Trust.

The new trust will focus on the ASX 300.

Bridgeport move

PERTH-BASED food exporter Craig Mostyn Group is reported to have appointed Bridgeport as its superannuation consultant for its 300-member Craig Mostyn Group Super Fund.

Bridgeport has been operating in some form since 1973.

In 1999 a merger between the Chancellor Investment Group, superannuation consultants Robert MC Brown & Partners and Darryl Pike’s management consultancy business took the business to its current form.

Inflation subdued

THE all-groups consumer price index rose 0.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2002, giving a headline inflation rate of 3 per cent in the year to December, down from 3.2 per cent in the year to September.

The drought was viewed as a contributor to a strong rise in fresh food prices. The rise in fuel prices also contributed to the figure. Economists believe the benign inflation figure leaves the Reserve Bank of Australia with plenty of scope to cut the cash rate if the global economy deteriorates further.

ASIC edict

FORMER director of licensed security dealer NKH Securities Ltd, Robert Marusco, has given an undertaking to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission that he will not act as director or key person of a responsible entity for a managed investment scheme for a period of 12 months.

Mr Marusco has also committed himself to complete a Securities Institute of Australia course in managed investments. NKH Securities’ dealers licence was revoked in November 2002.

Australia on track

CORPORATE governance reforms for United Kingdom-listed companies released last week in the Review of the Role and Effectiveness of Non-executive Directors Report mirror the best practices endorsed by corporate Australia, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The report by the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, conducted by Derek Higgs, provides best practice guidelines for UL firms on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.

AICD chief executive officer John Hall said on reading the report he believed Australia was ahead of the UK in its corporate governance practices.

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