SMSF Service Provider Awards 2014 – FIIG Securities: Fixed income

FIIG Securities knows where its strengths lie, having worked in the fixed income space since the company’s inception in 1998, and it’s this knowledge that is the cornerstone of its success.

“When we think of fixed income as an asset class that’s all we think about,” FIIG Securities chief executive Mark Paton says.

“We provide the broadest range of fixed income products.

“We’re not a fund manager, we’re a facilitator of investment products.

“We buy corporate bonds in the wholesale market and distribute these through intermediaries to enable them to offer these products and services to their clients.”

By reducing the parcel size of corporate bonds from $500,000 to $10,000, FIIG has facilitated access to products and investment opportunities most individual investors would previously have been excluded from, Paton explains.

“Investors are getting access to corporate bonds, which they wouldn’t get access to anywhere else,” he says.

“We’re going to keep working to reduce barriers and make [fixed income products more readily] available.”

Throughout 2014, FIIG has been focused on simplifying the processes advisers need to go through to be able to provide fixed income products to clients.

“A lot of the innovation [we’ve implemented this year] is to enable intermediaries to offer these products and services to their clients,” Paton says.

“We’re trying to deduct any hurdles and barriers for advisers to invest in fixed income.”

He says he believes this strategy will put FIIG in good stead for when baby boomers wind down into retirement and move into the de-accumulation phase with their SMSFs.

But even though fixed income products resonate strongly with the SMSF market due to the direct ownership a fixed income bond, term deposit or cash account affords, Paton says too often they are underweight in SMSF portfolios.

“Less than 1 per cent [of fixed income products are] owned directly by investors and we want to change that,” he says.

“We want to make [fixed income] available for direct ownership by investors.”

Aside from working to remove the barriers faced by intermediaries, FIIG has also worked to engage and educate investors about fixed income options.

“Our beliefs are about educating investors to achieve a balanced allocation,” Paton says.

“We believe fixed income has a place in an investor portfolio.”

This is a long-term strategy for the fixed income specialist manager that has been conducting seminars to connect with investors.

“It’s a long-term issue to educate the market about investing and advisers about [asset] allocation,” Paton says.

“This is a five-year journey, not a one-year journey.”

FIIG Securities is Australia’s leading fixed income specialist and currently has $11 billion under investment.

Award winners

  • Class Super: SMSF accounting software/administration
  • Cromwell: Property
  • Macquarie: Cash and term deposits
  • FIIG Securities: Fixed income
  • Westpac: Residential property loans
  • CommSec: Australian shares
  • TAL: Insurance
  • BT Wrap: Investment platform
  • Magellan: International shares

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