From the CEO December 2021

6 Dec 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, and as much as it’s been a really exciting year for the business, I’m very much looking forward to some downtime with family and friends after working through the extended lockdowns that many of us experienced. And let’s hope this is the last time we see the word lockdown in my column!

Zenith Group update

You may have seen the communication from me last week advising that the Foreign Investment Review Board has approved the acquisition of Zenith Group by FE fundinfo. The deal will complete on 9 December and as CEO of the combined group in Australia, I’m genuinely looking forward to bringing together the two businesses to create a compelling, integrated service offering for financial advisers, fund managers, super funds and platforms. I look forward to sharing more information about our enhanced offering over the coming months.

The role and value of alternatives - webinar

As many of you know, I’m a strong advocate for the role of alternatives in portfolios and how their defensive qualities help to manage market volatility and provide alternative sources of return. To that end, I’m participating in a webinar on 10 December, 'Alternatives – how to use them and why the right time is now', with Anton Pil, Global Head of Alternatives at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Hosted by Livewire Markets, the webinar will explore how alternatives can offer a different source of Alpha, Income and Diversification (AID), why considering alternatives is especially important right now, and how alternatives can be used in portfolios. You can register for the webinar here.

Super fund reports to be available in Mosaic

We often get asked by advisers how they can access detailed super fund data to better support their client conversations about super. In some great news, super fund performance reports will be available in Mosaic during the first quarter of next year. Produced by our Chant West business, these reports include detailed performance information for a fund’s various investment options over different time periods and will be available to all research subscribers at no additional cost. This will be the first initiative in a larger project to bring super fund data, ratings and information to our clients through Mosaic.

While we’re on the topic of super fund data, there’s a great article in this edition of the newsletter about the outcomes of the recent inaugural APRA performance test. Our General Manager of Chant West, Ian Fryer, shares his views on the test, the outcomes it delivered, where improvements need to be made, and what he believes we should really be looking at when assessing super fund performance.

New managed account portfolios available in 2022

With the introduction of a Dynamic Asset Allocation (DAA) capability into our business through the acquisition of Heuristic Investment Systems earlier this year, we now have the ability to construct cost-aware portfolios with a DAA overlay executed by our internal team. These portfolios will provide market exposure through the use of underlying index-based ETF’s with an active asset allocation overlay to enhance returns over the longer term. We’re working to further develop this offering as we speak and I look forward to sharing more detailed information about the new managed account portfolios in the new year.

Team news

We recently appointed an additional business development resource to support the growth of our offering in NSW and ACT, welcoming Scott Garner as our Senior Business Development Manager. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the advice landscape in Australia and a fantastic understanding of the managed account market, joining us from Colonial First State. The growth of our national footprint will continue into the new year, with the business looking to appoint a Business Development Manager for QLD over the coming weeks.

Best wishes for the festive season

As always, we’re grateful for your ongoing support of the broader Zenith Group, but never more so than after a time that we know has been difficult for many. On behalf of the Zenith team, I want to extend my best wishes to you, your families and teams for the festive season and I hope you enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends during this time. I look forward to catching up with you, hopefully in person, in the new year.


Best wishes

David Wright

Chief Executive Officer

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