While other fund managers state they are endeavouring to reduce the cost for investors through rebates and the negotiation of lower fees, which are passed onto the end customer, it is a strange time to introduce a new charge that ultimately will be passed onto consumers.
Sure, the 'excuse' is that the charge is a quality overlay on managers, but clearly if you don't pay, you won't be on platforms. And the amount charged does seem a little arbitrary. For example, a small fee to cover administration costs may even extend to $5000-10,000, but $200,000 is clearly a charge to get distribution to planners.
Some planners have expressed concern that Asgard is 'pimping' for them in choosing who they can have access to as a preferred partner.
As informally discussed at the recent Masterfunds Conference, a reasonable charge for funds that may use this as an alternative to a business development manager spruiking their product is one thing. However, if the best funds choose not to pay the charge then would we face a second-rate manager?
It's an interesting space to watch to see how it eventually plays out. To me, it's another opportunity for funds to work together and achieve what is right. Is this the right way to go to ensure customers get the best deal, or is it something that should be questioned in a putting-your-money-where-your-mouth-is way?
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