The year is definitely off to a flying start! It’s great to feel a sense of normality slowly return and I’m certainly looking forward to spending more time in the office after catching up with family and friends and hopefully fitting in a round of golf (or two!) over the Easter break. From a business perspective, we’ve had a busy couple of months, releasing new tools and services and announcing some pleasing additions to the business.
Some of you may have heard the exciting news that came out of our business recently with the announcement of two acquisitions:
Zenith Investment Partners acquired Heuristic Investment Systems, which has been delivering investment strategy and asset allocation consulting services to its wholesale / adviser and institutional clients since 2003. Having known owners Damien Hennessey and Nick Hugh for some time, I’m so pleased to have such a respected and highly experienced team join our business. I know they’ll be an excellent complement to the current suite of services, offering broader asset allocation and market valuation services including dynamic asset allocation advice, which I know many of our adviser clients desire.
At the broader Group level, Chant West announced its intent to purchase the range of Galaxy Insurance Comparator tools and research from Rice Warner. The tools have a strong reputation for their quality of insights and user experience. With several of our Chant West clients asking for more insights into retail insurance and group life cover, this acquisition will complement Chant West’s insurance research service and be a very valuable service extension. I look forward to welcoming the wider Galaxy team onboard over the coming weeks.
I’ve always considered us fortunate to have an engaged client base that provide us with important feedback around how we can better support their needs. We’re really pleased to address some of these valuable insights with the launch of our new portfolio construction tool Portfolio Builder. This innovative tool allows you to construct, maintain and compare client portfolios in a user-friendly format. Coinciding with this launch, we’ve now completed the transition to Mosaic as our primary research and portfolio insights platform for all our research client subscribers, which we feel is a major enhancement.
To help with this transition, I recommend watching this short demo video by our Business Development Manager, Berit Deagan, to familiarise yourself with the new features and help navigate the updated Mosaic interface.
It was great to see so many of you join our recent webinar, Responsible Investing: what does the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative mean for you? The webinar attracted strong interest from across the industry, illustrating the growing importance of this opportunity to work together to meet the changing needs of investors. If you missed this valuable discussion, the recording is available on our website
We received several questions following the webinar around the challenges advisers experience when navigating ESG. Our Responsible Investment Committee Chair, Dugald Higgins has addressed a number of these questions in his ‘Roadmap for the ESG Maze’ article included in this edition of the newsletter. Our client Paul Kearney, CEO Kearney Group also shares his experience of teaming up with Zenith to create the ESG-centric Ethos Managed Portfolios, a suite of agile and actively-managed investments that place ESG considerations at the forefront of portfolio construction. I highly recommend you read these articles to gain valuable insight into how you can navigate ESG discussions with your clients.
As I touched on in my previous column, in response to increased demand for a solution which caters for the specific nature of index funds, our research team have been working to build a new ratings framework. We will launch the new ratings scale specifically for market capitalisation weighted index funds in May this year. The methodology and approach have already been designed and will be implemented as we move through our sector reviews, commencing with Australian fixed interest, Australian equities and property by June this year.
As always, please get in touch with me directly or our Sales team if you have questions or would like more information on the above.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Easter break!
Chief Executive Officer