ASX head of customer and business development Ian Irvine said one of the big changes for the ASX that happened earlier this year is that the regulator ASIC gave the ASX the ability to “admit long-form PDS products”.
“These are typically more complex products that use derivatives and hedging and other strategies. So this plays very much to the financial adviser space,” explained Mr Irvine.
“Prior to February this year, we were able to admit what was called short-form product disclosure products so simply managed investment schemes but after two years of running the mFund service, after discussions with the regulator and a demonstration of how the mFund service had been performing, ASIC approved the admission of long-form PDS products.”
There has already been some new products introduced since this approval was granted by ASIC, he said.
“The two areas where we still can’t accept a long-form product are if its real property or real infrastructure. So that means an investor can’t invest in a fund that actually holds the building, but what investors can do [through the service] is invest in a fund that invests in other listed property or infrastructure funds,” he said.
“Infrastructure is a real challenge for us, because it’s very hard to get a direct share but we’re looking for ways to add more infrastructure funds to the mFund service.”
These sorts of products are particularly attractive to financial advisers, said Mr Irvine, because they’re specialised so it appeals to advisers with “high-net-worth clients or high-net-wealth SMSF trustees”.
These sorts of long-form products including infrastructure funds, he said, appeal to clients who are looking to “take a position that’s leveraged or want to leverage against an investment opportunity overseas whilst minimising the risks through the appropriate use of currency hedging or derivatives to protect against any downside”.