SuperRatings is looking to emulate its Australian success, including its established annual awards system for funds, with a Hong Kong ratings business for the nascent MPF Employee Choice Arrangement (ECA) pension funds, which came into force last November.
MPF Ratings, the Hong Kong subsidiary run by former Australian fund management executive Francis Chung, will hold its inaugural awards for the 40 MPF schemes, representing 21 scheme providers, on April 10. MPF Ratings is collaborating with ‘Asian Asset Management’ for the forthcoming 2013 MPF Awards, the highlight of which will be the announcement of the MPF Scheme of the Year..
Jeff Bresnahan, SuperRatings founder, said the offshore expansion was a logical progression for the firm, given that it was able to utilize its proven research methodology and procedures.
“The Asian region, when coupled with Australia, has the fastest growing pensions system in the world,” he said. “Albeit this is from a low base and given the ageing demographics in most countries, the pensions systems throughout the region will have to be boosted by various incentives or even compulsion in coming years.”
SuperRatings held its 10th anniversary annual awards night last year – a black-tie event attracting about 300 industry people. The company was founded in 2002. This year, the awards will coincide with the annual SuperRatings “Day of Confrontation” conference in Melbourne, on October 15. The Fund of the Year for the past two years has been Sunsuper.
In Hong Kong, the best performing fund in the MPF Ratings survey returned a median of only 6.62 per cent in the 12 months to February. The best were Hong Kong equities specialist funds: Sun Life Rainbow, with 11.59 per cent, followed by Principal’s Hong Kong equities fund with 11.55 per cent, and then another Sun Life domestic equities fund with 11.34 per cent.
Francis Chung said that the Hong Kong “Special Administrative Region”, as it is known since coming under the control of China, had a vibrant financial services community.
“With the introduction of ECA there lies the prospect of greater competition amongst scheme providers where in the past much of the servicing has been employer focused,” Chung said.
“While ECA only affords members semi-portability, it is a first step to empowering members to take responsibility for their future retirement. MPF Ratings aims to assist members to make better informed decisions about their future plans.”