Funds management

About managed investment schemes and the proposed regimes for corporate collective investment vehicles and the Asia Region Funds Passport.

Updated guidance

ASIC is making updates to regulatory guides and information sheets to support the Asia Region Funds Passport regime and will release these amendments over the coming months.

Managed investment schemes

Managed investment schemes are also known as 'managed funds', 'pooled investments' or 'collective investments'. Generally, in a managed investment scheme:

  • multiple investors contribute money or money's worth and get an interest in the scheme ('interests' in a scheme are a type of 'financial product' and are regulated by the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act))
  • money from the different investors is pooled together (often many hundreds or thousands of investors) or used in a common enterprise
  • a 'responsible entity' (also referred to as a 'fund manager') operates the scheme. Investors do not have day-to-day control over the operation of the scheme.

Managed investment schemes cover a wide variety of investments. Some examples of managed investment schemes include:

  • cash management trusts
  • property schemes
  • Australian equity (share) schemes
  • international equity schemes
  • exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • mortgage schemes
  • agricultural schemes (e.g. horticulture, aquaculture, viticulture)
  • horse-breeding and horse racing schemes
  • time-sharing schemes
  • serviced strata schemes.

What types of investments are NOT managed investment schemes?

Generally, only investments that are 'collective' are considered managed investment schemes. Some examples of investments that are not managed investments schemes include:

  • debentures issued by a body corporate
  • barter schemes
  • franchises
  • direct purchases of shares or other equities
  • schemes operated by an Australian bank in the ordinary course of banking business (e.g. term deposit).

Superannuation vehicles such as regulated superannuation funds and approved deposit funds are not managed investment schemes.

More information

Asia Region Funds Passport

The Asia Region Funds Passport provides a multilaterally agreed framework to facilitate the cross-border marketing of passport funds across participating economies in the Asia region. The Asia Region Funds Passport supports the development of an Asia-wide funds management industry through improved market access and regulatory harmonisation.

The following countries have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Establishment and Implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport (Memorandum of Cooperation): Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Thailand.

The key objectives for the Asia Region Funds Passport include to:

  • ensure investors receive the benefits of increased competition (e.g. lower fees and greater fund choice)
  • provide a high degree of investor protection to promote informed and confident investors, by ensuring high standards for the operation and offer of passport funds
  • strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of the region's funds management industry
  • deepen the region's financial markets by improving liquidity and access to finance
  • ensure economies can continue to maintain financial system stability and efficiency.

Keeping capital flows within the Asia region could help to strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks and volatility.

The Asia Region Funds Passport has been implemented in Australia through amendments to the Corporations Act and a legislative instrument making rules that reflect the Passport Rules annexed to the Memorandum of Cooperation.

Key aspects of the regime include:

  • a proposed passport fund must be a regulated collective investment scheme
  • the operator must be an eligible entity, including having officers with the relevant qualifications and meeting a financial resources test, organisational arrangements test, track record test and good standing test
  • once registered, the passport fund must comply with the Passport Rules, including rules about permitted investments, portfolio restrictions and limits, breach reporting, notifying the home and host regulators of certain changes, custody, financial reporting, annual reviews of compliance with the Passport Rules, redemption and valuation and deregistration.

More information is available on the Asia Region Funds Passport website.

Corporate collective investment vehicles

The proposed corporate collective investment vehicles (CCIVs) regime is an optional alternative to the managed investments regime in Ch 5C of the Corporations Act. It is proposed to be implemented in Australia through amendments to the Corporations Act. A CCIV will be a collective investment vehicle that is a public company and is structured as an umbrella fund incorporating one or more sub-funds.

The key objectives for the CCIV regime are to:

  • enhance the international competitiveness of the Australian funds management industry by providing an internationally recognisable collective investment vehicle that will facilitate participation in the Asia Region Funds Passport
  • expand the range of collective investment schemes offered in Australia
  • maximise the economic benefits of Government initiatives to improve access to overseas markets, including the Asia Region Funds Passport regime.

Key aspects of the proposed CCIV regime are:

  • a CCIV will be a public company that is limited by shares and structured as an umbrella fund with sub-funds, each of which may hold different assets and have different investment strategies
  • the CCIV will be operated by a corporate director that is an Australian public company and holds an Australian financial services (AFS) licence authorising it to operate a CCIV
  • a retail CCIV will have a depositary that is either an Australian public company or a foreign company registered under Part 5B.2 of the Corporations Act, and holds an AFS licence authorising it to act as a depositary of a CCIV
  • the depositary will be responsible for holding the assets of the CCIV on trust and oversight of the operation of the CCIV.

More information

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Last updated: 30/03/2021 09:23