The chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, Tim Wilson has made another attempt to extract information from industry funds-linked investment manager, IFM Investors, but has had no better success.
IFM Investors made headlines late last year by declining to answer a range of questions asked by Wilson and some other members of the committee, but an IFM Investors document filed with the committee on 28 February, suggests little further progress has been made.
The IFM Investors letter responded to a letter from the committee received on 31 January requesting responses to additional questions.
Those additional questions covered governance, clients and commercial relationships, investments, valuations and performance and remuneration.
However in almost all cases, IFM Investors held the line on what it had told the committee last year, and noting that in “answering the Committee’s questions IFM does not prejudice the interests of the approximately seven million Australian industry super fund members, and the beneficiaries or our investors in other countries, who ultimately benefit from IFM’s investments”.
The IFM response said it managed funds on behalf of 443 institutional investors globally, including superannuation and pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurers, endowment, foundations and universities.
“IFM does not have any retail clients or clients who are individuals,” it said. “IFM’s clients are large sophisticated institutional investors, with all or substantially all having funds under management in excess of $100 million,” it said.
On the key question of remuneration, the IFM maintained its relative silence, arguing that the information being sought by the committee “departs from market practice and regulatory requirements in major financial services hubs including London and New York”.
“Public authorities in Europe, the US and the UK do not require private fund managers like IFM to disclose the remuneration information being sought by the committee.”