Colonial prepares to launch new flagship master trust

ColonialFirst State is preparing to launch a new master trust platform for both the Colonial and Commonwealth Bank businesses, as part of what appears to be a newfound mandate to lead product development across the combined group.

Money Managementunderstands the new master trust, under development by Colonial for some time, will become the flagship master trust for both Colonial and Commonwealth advisers, as well as being made available to other independent planners and dealer groups.

Colonial First State’s newly appointed general manager of product strategy, Brian Bissaker, formerly executive vice-president and head of product at BT Funds Management, is expected to take responsibility for the new master trust.

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Colonial First State chief executive Chris Cuffe announced last week that Bissaker had been recruited to lead product development at Colonial First State.

The development of the new master trust is expected to be accompanied by a review of both Colonial First State’s and the Commonwealth’s existing master trust arrangements.

Colonial First State and the Commonwealth are believed to be currently running more than a dozen different master trusts andMoney Managementhas been told that at least some of these will be wound up and rolled into the new flagship product.

Plans for the release of the new master trust follow the recent decision to combine Colonial First State and the Commonwealth Bank’s funds management unit, Commonwealth Investment Management, into one asset management business under Colonial control.

It isunderstood both the Commonwealth and Colonial had previously agreed to jointly redevelop the structure of their master trust arrangements.

But the recent amalgamation of the two funds management units is understood to have given Colonial the mandate to head the development of new products like the new master trust.

At the time of going to press, Colonial First State was not prepared to comment about its plans for the new master trust.

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