Data access and availability in Australian funds management and superannuation

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This paper examines data access and availability in the Australian funds management industry, in order to isolate which data deficiencies exist and how they may be rectified to drive better outcomes for Australian stakeholders. It make the following recommendations:

  1. Monthly portfolio holding data should be electronically collected from all Australian managed funds and published with a 90-day delay (similar to information gathered in the US using Form N-CSR).
  2. Information regarding managerial compensation and characteristics such as age and tenure should be electronically collected from all Australian fund managers (similar to information gathered in the US using Form N-CSR).
  3. Mandatory monthly portfolio holdings, managerial compensation data, and manager characteristic data should be regulated by the government and collected by a central government system (such as EDGAR in the US).

The corresponding benefits of these recommendations will include:

  1. Monthly portfolio holdings data will allow stakeholders to observe the trading behaviour and performance of all Australian fund managers accurately.
  2. Providing stakeholders access to mandatory Australian fund manager compensation data will provide insights into manager incentives currently lacking in Australia, thus increasing transparency for investors and potentially enhancing the competitive environment, ultimately delivering better investment outcomes for Australian investors.
  3. Mandatory funds management data filing, in combination with a centralised government repository for these data, will ensure that hitherto unavailable data will be accurate and easily disseminated to all Australian stakeholders.

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This paper was produced under the ACFS Commission Research program, which support academics to conduct research on topical industry issues. This paper was overseen by the ACFS Funds Management and Superannuation Research Program Committee.