United approach to super fund disclosure: AVCAL
Thursday, 21 January 2016 1:00pm

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) is calling for financial services regulators and administrators to coordinate their data on superannuation fund investments as a way of streamlining overlaps in reporting and disclosure processes.

The idea forms one of AVCAL's three recommendations to federal Treasury on draft legislation for improved superannuation transparency. Public submissions to the draft legislation closed on January 20.

AVCAL said the coordinated initiative between Treasury, ASIC, APRA and third-party super fund administrators would mitigate current uncertainty around the risk of public disclosure of confidential information and to reduce red tape.

AVCAL is generally supportive of government plans to introduce a portfolio holdings disclosure regulatory framework "that seeks to strike the appropriate balance between transparency and usability." It said this was a significantly improved framework compared to the earlier disclosure model proposed in 2013.

The association, which represents industries that have invested more than $35 billion in private businesses over the past decade on behalf of investors such as super funds and other financial institutions, said the inclusion of a disclosure exemption threshold of up to 5% of an investment option value is welcome.

"This will allow for commercially sensitive valuations to remain private until such a time that their public disclosure will not put members' financial interests at risk," the AVCAL submission said.

"Where commercially sensitive information is concerned, relevant carve-outs or non-disclosure assurances should be provided in order to provide investment managers with the legal certainty that they will not inadvertently fall in breach of their confidentiality obligations to their other investors."

AVCAL is also calling for a need for a materiality threshold to improve the usefulness of disclosures, and a clarification on the definition of value in certain sections of the draft legislation.

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