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Aussie lender eyes Singapore IFA market

Australian-owned non-bank lender Firstmac will renew its focus on the independent financial adviser channel to distribute its RMBS fund in Asia.

Speaking to ifa, Firstmac chief financial officer James Austin said independent financial advisers are an integral part of distributing the High Livez investment fund in Singapore.

“About 18 months ago we opened an office in Singapore, so we are distributing the fund through IFAs out there,” Mr Austin said.

“We have retail investors, predominantly SMSFs, and we have a financial planner channel that is particularly relevant in our third year because they do look to see the track record of the fund.”

As an income fund, High Livez provides a monthly distribution of 3 per cent above the cash rate, which is particularly attractive to Singapore investors who have interest rates of 0 per cent, Mr Austin said.

“In Australia, the target investments we have are those SMSFs looking for yield in a low interest rate environment,” he said.

“In the past three years since we’ve been investing we have also made capital gains, and therefore the unit price has been rising, but that is not our objective.


“Our objective is to provide consistent regular income.”

The capital gains have come as something of a bonus, Mr Austin said, which have led the returns to be around the 8.5 per cent mark.

“That really reflects the improving global environment over the past three years as the margins on RMBS come in, and therefore the assets we have already invested in the fund are rising in price over time, which has delivered that increase in unit price for the investors,” he said.

“That has been a bit of an unintended bonus for those investors in the fund.”