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Launch of new Bendigo Managed Funds

13 June 2002 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank today launches its enhanced funds management capability with the issue of its first Bendigo Managed Funds prospectus, which consists of a range of diversified and Australian equity funds.

Bendigo Group Managing Director Rob Hunt said the issue of the five-fund prospectus marked Bendigo’s "serious entry" into Australia’s rapidly growing $269 billion funds management market.

"We have a ready-made distribution arm of almost 200 branches, backed by an advisory structure directly servicing that network, and we have a 144-year history of prudential funds management.

"Our customers know us and trust us to help them achieve their financial goals and this is an excellent opportunity to broaden the support we can provide to them and so broaden our business base.

"Our Group currently has $7.5 billion in on-balance sheet assets and over $3.0 billion in funds under management and advice, mainly through Sandhurst Trustees and our two financial planning arms – Bendigo Investment Services (BIS) & Worley Securities. Our longer-term aim is to grow funds under management to reach a similar level to the Bank’s asset book.

"This would boost the Group’s fee-based revenue, which is less susceptible to the fluctuations of interest margins, and will assist us to add value to our customers’ investment options."

Mr Hunt said the recent creation of Bendigo’s Wealth Management division incorporated previously separate elements within the Bendigo Group, including Sandhurst Trustees. Through this process, the Group has formed strong partnerships with Investors Mutual, IOOF/Perennial & SMF (in superannuation) to underpin its funds management business.

"Sandhurst has a long and outstanding record as an investment manager of mortgage and cash funds. The success of the Sandhurst Industrial Share Fund (SISF), with Investors Mutual as investment manager, provides a solid platform for Sandhurst’s expanded ‘manager of managers’ role in the new Bendigo Managed Funds.

As part of the restructure, Bendigo has bought out IOOF’s half-share of BIS, the in-branch advisory service, which will be expanded throughout the entire Bendigo branch network.

"IOOF continues to have a close relationship with us both as an aligned service provider and as one of the investment managers in our new Bendigo Managed Funds," Mr Hunt said.

"In developing our new investment funds, we have chosen some of Australia’s leading fund managers and selected the best of their products to provide the right asset mix for a range of risk/reward profiles.

"This approach represents our belief that investors should not have all their eggs in the one basket. In developing these funds, we have used the ‘manage the manager’ approach. This offers our customers the choice of having a selection of quality investment managers. The extensive research we undertook before launching these products tells us this is the direction our customers wish to take."

"The suite of funds includes conservative, balanced and growth options and a new Sandhurst Future Leaders Fund, the assets of which will be managed by Investors Mutual – recent winners of the Money Management/Assirt 2002 Australian Equities Fund Manager of the Year.

"The Sandhurst Industrial Share Fund – which has performed extremely well and now has more than $135 million under management – is also included in the new prospectus."

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