MELBOURNE, Australia - Mining giant CRA Ltd. has surprised the Australian investment world by returning to the unfashionable practice of using only balanced fund managers in its A$800 million ($600 million U.S.) superannuation fund.
And, it did so largely without detailed advice from investment management consultants.
A major rearrangement of mandates in the fourth quarter of 1994 installed five balanced managers based in Sydney - Prudential Assurance Co., MLC Ltd., BT Financial Services, HSBC Asset Management and Rothschild Australia Investment Management - to run separate balanced funds.
Melbourne-based CRA's aim is to see the mainly defined contribution fund at least match the average return of pooled funds in William M. Mercer's regular survey, rather than lagging, as it has in recent years.
The managers who have lost CRA business include County NatWest, Melbourne, A$374 million in Australian equities and a balanced portfolio as of June last year; J.P. Morgan Investment Management Australia, Melbourne, A$57 million in fixed income; London's Mercury Asset Management, A$58 million in international equities; and Sydney-based Westpac Investment Management, A$100 million in Australian equities and a balanced portfolio.
BT, with about A$196 million of CRA assets in non-Australian stocks and a balanced fund, kept A$180 million.
Rothschild, formerly running an A$68 million fixed-income portfolio, saw its allocation increased to A$100 million.
Prudential received A$200 million; MLC, A$200 million; and HSBC A$120 million.
CRA finance executives were overseas and unavailable for comment before press time.