AMP CEO De Ferrari won’t get a new life insurance deal

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 6-Dec-18

Merlon Capital is among the AMP shareholders that oppose the sale of its life insurance business. However, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the $3.3bn deal will proceed, arguing that the wealth manager lacks the global scale to compete with much larger international rivals in the life insurance sector. De Ferrari has also expressed support for AMP’s vertically integrated business model, but says this will be unwound if the final report of the financial services commission recommends it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CREDIT SUISSE AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

AMP’s new CEO starts in the hot seat

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 3-Dec-18

Francesco De Ferrari starts his first day as CEO of AMP on 3 December, having previously been head of Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific private banking business. De Ferrari says he is determined to make the most of the impetus provided by the banking royal commission to bring about change in the way that AMP does business. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital says De Ferrari should give AMP shareholders the opportunity to vote on the proposed sale of the AMP Life division, as well as renegotiating the deal if possible.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE AG, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, ATLAS FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION

Fund managers count the cost of Red October meltdown

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Australian – Page: 28 : 14-Nov-18

Platinum Investment Management CEO Andrew Clifford notes that October 2018 was the most challenging month for global markets since February 2009. The Australian sharemarket lost 5.4 per cent during October, extending its losses since an August peak to more than 10 per cent. The Platinum Global Fund and Monash Capital’s Absolute Investment Fund posted losses of 5.9 per cent and 5.69 per cent respectively, although hedge fund VGI Partners posted a modest gain of 0.8 per cent.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, PLATINUM INVESTMENT HOLDING PTE LTD, PLATINUM GLOBAL FUND, MONASH CAPITAL PTY LTD, MONASH ABSOLUTE INVESTMENT FUND, VGI PARTNERS PTY LTD, GRYPHON CAPITAL INCOME TRUST – ASX GCI, L1 LONG SHORT FUND LIMITED – ASX LSF, OPHIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, CONTANGO INCOME GENERATOR LIMITED – ASX CIE, K2 GLOBAL EQUITIES FUND, WCM GLOBAL GROWTH LIMITED – ASX WQG, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA, THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX SGR, GWA GROUP LIMITED – ASX GWA, PERPETUAL LIMITED – ASX PPT, VIRTUS HEALTH LIMITED – ASX VRT, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX CTD, BLOOMBERG LP, MSCI WORLD INDEX

Mitsubishi in $4.1bn swoop for CBA arm

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 1-Nov-18

Brett Le Mesurier of Shaw & Partners expects the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to return capital to shareholders following a deal to sell its global asset management business. Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group will pay $4.1bn for Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which CBA had previously intended to demerge with its financial planning and mortgage assets. CBA expects to generate a post-tax gain of around $1.5bn from the sale of CFSGAM, while the bank’s common-equity tier-one capital will be boosted by 60 basis points.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP INCORPORATED, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED, FINANCIAL WISDOM LIMITED, AUSSIE HOME LOANS LIMITED, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC, COUNTPLUS LIMITED – ASX CUP, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, SOCIETYONE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, MITSUBISHI UFJ TRUST AND BANKING INCORPORATION

Fundies blast AMP over $3.4b fire sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 31-Oct-18

Allan Gray Australia and Merlon Capital Partners are among the institutional investors that have criticised AMP’s proposal to divest its life insurance business. They believe that the $3.4bn sale price undervalues the life business, and Merlon has flagged the possibility of seeking an extraordinary general meeting to challenge the deal. Merlon has written to AMP arguing that the deal demonstrates a "reckless disregard" for shareholders’ funds, while Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray describes it as a "disastrous deal" for AMP’s shareholders.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE COUNTRYWIDE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, AXA ASIA PACIFIC HOLDINGS LIMITED

AMP implodes as investors flee amid fund outflows

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 26-Oct-18

Wealth manager AMP has advised that its fund outflows totalled $1.5bn in the September quarter, compared with just $243m in the previous corresponding period. Acting CEO Mike Wilkins says lack of fund inflows is a bigger concern than the rise in outflows, adding that the problem is likely to persist until the financial services royal commission delivers its final report. AMP has also announced a $3.3bn deal to sell its life insurance business to Resolution Capital. AMP shares reached a record low on 25 October, reducing its market capitalisation by $2.3bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION CAPITAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

CBA faces first suit over low returns

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 21 : 11-Oct-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has indicated that it will "vigorously" defend a class action launched by Slater & Gordon. The law firm contents that wealth manager Colonial First State had invested its superannuation clients’ money in CBA-owned funds that had very low returns, when it could have invested the money in higher-returning funds controlled by CBA or other banks. Other banks and financial institutions have also been targeted by class action lawyers in the wake of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH FINANCIAL PLANNING LIMITED, BW FINANCIAL ADVICE, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

We’re at euphoric stage of cycle: Eley Griffiths

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 2-Oct-18

Eley Griffiths Group’s co-founder Ben Griffiths is upbeat about the outlook for equities. He believes that global sharemarkets are at what Sir John Templeton dubbed the "euphoric" stage of the current bull market. Eley Griffiths boasts around $1.8bn worth of funds under management, and both its small companies fund and its emerging companies fund outperformed the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Accumulation Index in 2017-18.

CORPORATES
ELEY GRIFFITHS GROUP PTY LTD, ELEY GRIFFITHS GROUP SMALL COMPANIES FUND, ELEY GRIFFITHS GROUP EMERGING COMPANIES FUND, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX SMALL ORDINARIES ACCUMULATION INDEX, AFTERPAY TOUCH GROUP LIMITED – ASX APT, PINNACLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX PNI, SIMS METAL MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX SGM, AUSTRALIS OIL AND GAS LIMITED – ASX ATS, BLUE SKY ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX BLA, NETWEALTH GROUP LIMITED – ASX NWL

Firms face off in AMP class action

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 30-Aug-18

A class action lawsuit against AMP over its fee-for-no-service is likely to be heard in the Supreme Court of New South rather than the Federal Court. Four law firms filed separate class action applications in the Federal Court, but Justice Jonathan Beach has ruled that they should be transferred to the Supreme Court where a competing lawsuit had already been filed. Justice Beach criticised the law firms, noting that their class actions are on behalf of a similar body of shareholders and cover similar grievances. Only one of the class actions will be permitted to proceed.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SHINE LAWYERS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Future Fund wary as economy holds up

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 31 : 30-Aug-18

The Future Fund has posted a 2017-18 return of 9.3 per cent for 2017-18, compared with its targeted return of 6.1 per cent a year. It has achieved a return of 8.7 per cent each year over the last decade. Meanwhile, the Future Fund has reduced its cash holdings in the last year, while its exposure to Australian shares and the private equity sector has increased. MD David Neal says asset prices are likely to fall when synchronised global economic growth comes to an end, while chairman Peter Costello says the tariff war will also affect asset prices.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY