Master trusts to pass on fee waiver

Perennial Investment Partners has said at least five master trusts have undertaken to pass on 100 per cent of its limited waiver of management fees for retail clients who invest new money in selected funds between May 30 and July 31, 2007.

Believed to be a first within the Australian funds management industry, Perennial took this approach to encourage new investment before the Government’s ‘simpler super’ initiatives come into play from July 1, 2007.

The rebate will be paid in November, taking the form of units credited to existing and new investors who are still invested with Perennial as of October 31, 2007, less any units redeemed during the offer period.

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Payment of the rebate to eligible investors who invested indirectly with Perennial via a master trust or platform is at the discretion of the various product providers, but Brian Thomas, Perennial head of retail funds management, believes most will pass this one on.

“We now have about four or five, all talking about giving it back to clients 100 per cent,” he said.

Thomas does not expect providers who do this to experience any significant administrative difficulties.

“They have to administratively work out how to deal with it. Though we could only start talking to them today . . . the whole master trust administration system is about distributions and other rebates, so the basic methodology should be there and also, the rebate’s paid in November so they’ve got a fair bit of time to work out how to do it,” he said.

Perennial’s clients, including master trusts, were simultaneously notified of the offer yesterday, with letters also sent to individual investors as required by the Australian Securities and Investments Corporation’s differentiation of pricing regulations.

It applies to 24 of its 30 funds, those with a minimum investment of $25,000, with this measure introduced to ensure institutional mandates do not benefit from the fee-waiver.

The offer period is extended one month beyond the Government’s window of opportunity to allow for investors who choose to simply transfer money into the cash option of the superannuation environment before apportioning it across specific asset classes.

“It’s sending a good message, so it’ll be interesting if other fund managers follow. If other competitors want to follow us, we fully encourage it,” Thomas said.

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