5655.0 - Managed Funds, Australia, Mar 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2004   
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1 The statistics presented in this publication on managed funds institutions in Australia have been compiled from the Survey of Financial Information conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and from a quarterly Survey of Superannuation Funds processed by the ABS on behalf of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

2 Movements in the levels of assets of managed funds institutions between periods reflect two components-transactions activity in particular assets and valuation changes arising from price changes in particular assets.

3 Managed funds institutions, in general, are those financial intermediaries which operate in the managed funds market by acquiring and incurring financial assets and liabilities respectively on their own account. Typically these institutions arrange for the ‘pooling’ of funds from a number of investors for the purpose of investing in a particular type or mix of assets, with a view to receiving an on-going return or capital gain. However, funds of a speculative nature that do not offer redemption facilities (e.g. agriculture and film trusts) and funds not established for investment purposes (e.g. health funds and general insurance funds) are excluded.

4 A further development within the managed funds market is the emergence of specialist investment managers who engage primarily in activities closely related to financial intermediation but are employed on a fee for service basis to manage and invest in approved assets on their clients’ behalf. They usually act as investment managers for the smaller institutions, including unit trusts and superannuation funds. While they accept individual portfolios to manage, for example from charities, they are generally not accessible to the small investor. They act in the main as the managers of pooled funds, but also manage clients’ investments on an individual portfolio basis.


5 The scope of the statistics presented in this publication relates to the assets of all registered managed funds institutions operating in Australia. The types of managed funds covered by the statistics in this publication are:

  • Life Insurance Offices,
  • Superannuation Funds (which includes Approved Deposit Funds),
  • Public Unit Trusts,
  • Friendly Societies,
  • Common Funds, and
  • Cash Management Trusts.

6 Statistics in this publication relating to the Life Insurance Offices are derived from returns from 24 of the 42 registered life insurance offices operating in Australia, representing approximately 98% of the total assets of statutory funds. Data have been extrapolated to provide 100% coverage.

7 For Superannuation Funds, the information in this publication is derived from:
  • Superannuation funds and approved deposit funds (ADFs) that directly invest their assets on their own behalf, and
  • Fund managers who invest in assets on behalf of superannuation funds and ADFs.

8 Up to and including the March quarter 1995, data on superannuation funds and ADFs that directly invest their assets on their own behalf were collected by the ABS Survey of Financial Information. From the June quarter 1995 the information on these superannuation funds is from a survey of the largest funds, processed by the ABS on behalf of APRA. Currently there are 354 funds in the survey.

9 The statistics for superannuation funds in Table 3 include estimates, provided by APRA, for superannuation funds not currently surveyed.

10 The statistics on Public Unit Trusts do not include trusts which are exempted under Section 1069(3) of the Corporations Act 1974 from providing redemption facilities (e.g. film and agriculture trusts); trusts which do not seek funds from the general public and small trusts are also excluded. There are currently 708 public unit trusts included in the Survey of Financial Information.

11 The statistics on Friendly Societies are compiled from information obtained from the 25 largest friendly societies. This provides coverage of approximately 95% of the total assets of friendly societies. No estimate is included for the friendly societies not covered in the survey.

12 Common Funds are operated by Trustee Companies under relevant State Trustee Companies Acts. At the end of December 2002 there were 20 trustee companies managing 47common funds throughout Australia.

13 All Cash Management Trusts operating in Australia are included in the statistics, however, the number of trusts may vary from month to month due to the establishment or closure of individual trusts. There are currently 30 cash management trusts included in the Survey of Financial Information.


14 Estimates of the consolidated assets of managed funds are derived by eliminating any cross-investment that takes place between the various types of funds. For example, investments by superannuation funds in public unit trusts are excluded from the assets of superannuation funds in a consolidated presentation. It is not possible, however, to apportion cross-investment at the level of detail presented in the unconsolidated tables.


15 Respondents to the ABS Survey of Financial Information are requested to report assets at their market value.


16 Assets in Australia include land and buildings located in Australia and financial claims on residents; assets overseas include land and buildings located overseas and financial claims on non-residents. A resident is any person, corporation or other entity ordinarily domiciled in Australia, except foreign embassies, consulates and foreign controlled military establishments located in Australia, which are classified as non-resident. Non-residents include any persons, corporations or other entities ordinarily domiciled overseas. Entities located in Australia which are owned by non-residents are classified as residents of Australia (e.g. a branch or subsidiary of an overseas company). Overseas branches or subsidiaries of Australian companies are classified as non-residents.


17 The classification of financial instruments in this publication follows that contained in the ABS publication Australian National Accounts, Financial Accounts (5232.0). Definitions of the various types of instrument are given in the glossary.


18 Revisions to previously published statistics are included in this publication. A special note on Page 2 of each publication highlights any major revisions to the statistics in certain tables.


19 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS publication of related data which is available on request:

Australian National Accounts, Financial Accounts (5232.0)-issued quarterly

Cash Management Trusts, Australia (5635.0.40.001)-issued monthly

Common Funds, Australia (5657.0.40.001)-issued quarterly

Friendly Societies, Australia (5660.0.40.001)-issued quarterly

Public Unit Trusts, Australia (5645.0.40.001)-issued quarterly


20 Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals due to rounding.