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An interview with Ka Sen Wong, Allen & Overy by Carla Hoorweg, Senior Policy Manager, Investment, Technology & Innovation, FSCThe new tax regime for managed funds, known as the “attribution managed investment trust” or “AMIT” regime, is now up and running and many businesses are considering whether to enter the regime from 1 July 2017. We speak to Ka Sen Wong, Australian head of tax at global law firm, Allen & Overy, about the business opportunities coming out of the reforms.

As Australia’s $2.7 trillion pool of managed fund capital grows, it is becoming increasingly more important to consider ESG factors. This is for several reasons; on the one hand there is increased scrutiny from consumers but it is also important in exercising fiduciary duty through improved risk management and a longer term focus to the benefit of super beneficiaries.

We are grateful to Jim Boynton & Rohan Cush of leading law firm King & Wood Mallesons for their permission to use this article.The passing of the Corporations Amendment (Life Insurance Remuneration Arrangements) Bill 2017 (Bill) marks another milestone for one aspect of a wide range of ongoing reforms in the Australian life insurance sector.

Two things are clear from the latest Australian Investment Managers Cross-Border Flows report: demand for Australian investment products and expertise from overseas is up again; and removing the last of the taxation barriers could transform the growth ebb into a groundswell.

What are consumers worried about? What are they thinking about? What do they want?As the CEO of the Financial Services Council, obviously I have to understand what my members want and need across our portfolios of wealth, funds and asset management, life insurance, superannuation, financial advice networks and trustee companies, but it's also very important to me to understand what consumers are thinking about.

Since 2013 the superannuation industry has been working to implement the Data and Payment Standards (SuperStream). These standards are now the “business-as-usual” operating model for rollovers for all APRA-regulated funds and for contributions for all APRA-regulated funds, SMSFs and large employers. Small employers should mostly all be on board by 1 July 2016. 

Australia will be the winner if the mooted company tax cut is quickly passed by Parliament.There are challenging arguments which must be won for the benefits to flow.If essential reforms can be defeated by populist arguments, Australia would already be a Banana Republic as Paul Keating feared in the 1980s.

The financial services industry has always been an 'issues rich' environment for our politicians and policy-makers, and this year has been no exception.This means that there were many policy issues impacting on the financial services industry that were being debated by parliament last week when the parliament was prorogued and the Government made major steps towards an early election.

With major consultation activity underway across senior life insurance executives and consumer groups in the lead up to 1 July 2016, we interviewed Sarah Phillips, Financial Services Council Policy Consultant (Life Insurance) on the FSC’s critical work to help restore confidence in the life insurance

The achievement of a broad Asia-Pacific free trade area may remain a far-off goal, but real progress is meanwhile underway in the funds industry. The Asia Region Funds Passport, an initiative of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, is set to commence next year, with final rules on eligibility and permitted investment types expected to be published shortly.

Sally Loane recently appeared on Radio National to talk with Richard Aedy about the point of superannuation.

John Trowbridge is calling for life insurance companies to create more innovative ways to interact with customers..