Ethical super fund tops 2019 returns

Australian Catholic Super’s Socially Responsible fund option was the best performing mixed asset – balanced superannuation fund in 2019, according to FE Analytics.

Despite the politically tumultuous and economically uncertain year, the fund managed to return 18.5% over the year to 31 December, 2019.

The fund is currently managed by Australian Ethical due to its “excellent environmental, social, and governance (ESG) charter and great performance. They were appointed after an extensive search to replace AMP”, according to Australian Catholic Super’s chief investment officer, Michael Block.

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He noted that there was no reason why they would not diversify the socially responsible investment option if fund inflows continued to increase.

Australian Ethical’s chief investment officer, David Macri, told Super Review that the fund had performed well in 2019 due to the outperformance of its domestic and international equity portfolio.

“The domestic equities portfolio outperformed (26.6% v 23.4%) due to the relatively low weighting to the underperforming banking sector (+9.4%) and the relatively high weighting to the outperforming healthcare (+43.5%) and IT (+32.2%) sectors,” Macri said.

“The international equities portfolio outperformed (29.5% v 28.0%) due to the zero weighting to the energy sector (+11.3%), which was the worst performing sector over the year, and the relatively high weighting to the IT sector (+47.5%), which was the best performing sector.

“The screened exposure to the financials sector also contributed positively with our allocation returning 32.3% v benchmark’s return (for the sector) of 26.8%.”

Top performing multi-asset balanced superannuation funds over the year to 31 December 2019 v sector

Source: FE Analytics

Of the top five performing super funds last year, three were Suncorp funds.

The Australian Catholic Super fund was followed by Suncorp Corporate Investment Super Balanced fund at 18.4%, Australian Super Balanced Option at 17.7%, Suncorp Super Bond Balanced, and Suncorp Super Lifesaver Balanced both at 17.6%.


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