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Alternatives body outlines SMSF initiatives

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has revealed it will dedicate more time to the SMSF space, namely increasing its education efforts for trustees about alternatives.

“We’ve conducted quite a bit of research on trustees and lot of it is has been with institutional super trustees, but there are a lot of lessons that can be learnt [by SMSFs],” AIMA director and general manager Michael Gallagher told selfmanagedsuper.

“What we’re planning to do is provide much more education by partnering with some of the other associations and we’re also looking to do a range of things with financial planning networks, which a lot of our members actually already do.

“From an AIMA point of view, because we’re the industry umbrella, we’re manager agnostic and we’re strategy agnostic, so we haven’t got an axe to grind in terms of trying to sell a specific product.”

AIMA is currently conducting research in the alternatives space.

“We’re in the process of putting together a program for institutional trustees, which will then be rolled out down to the SMSF level in the form of survey findings and a report, but it will take some time,” he said.

“We have a view of putting together at some stage very pointed education sessions off that.”

Gallagher added the alternatives body plans to establish an education process for trustees.

“We hope to lift everyone’s awareness of what alternates do, and in the process of doing that dispel the myths and misconceptions about things like hedge funds, and generally provide people with a bit more knowledge than what they currently have,” he said.

“SMSFs are a uniquely Australian structure and while globally we do a huge amount of work with the other segments of retirement savings like industry super and institutional investors, we’ve started to do a bit more work in the SMSF space.

“But what we want to do in the next couple of years is ramp up our interaction with SMSFs and I imagine lot of it will be done through intermediaries, other associations and the like.”

AIMA is a global organisation in over 50 countries with about 2000 member firms, covering the $3 trillion alternative assets space around the world.

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