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CFS unveils commendable CY2023 results

By Rhea Nath
3 minute read

A number of Colonial First State funds have delivered double-digit returns over the year to 31 December 2023, beating out the median super returns reported by major research houses.

Colonial First State (CFS) has reported a number of above-median double digit returns for members of its MySuper balanced and growth funds.

The firm’s Thrive+ sustainable growth fund topped CFS’ list of funds at 15.1 per cent, a result that was described as especially pleasing by CFS’ chief investment officer, Jonathan Armitage.

It was launched in November 2022 and was intended to assist those seeking to generate long-term performance to choose investment aligned with their personal environment, social, and governance objectives.

“With respect to Thrive+, we have been especially pleased to see its strong performance over the last 12 months, demonstrating that a sustainable growth fund can deliver compelling returns for investors while also making a positive contribution to the environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, the FirstChoice Employer Super growth fund (MySuper Lifestage 1975–79) and FirstChoice Employer Super balanced fund (MySuper Lifestage 1965–69), in which most of its members are invested, delivered 13.2 per cent and 11.8 per cent, respectively.

The CFS Enhanced Index Balanced fund and CFS Enhanced Index Growth fund, too, delivered above median members returns of 11.6 per cent and 12.5 per cent, respectively.

The results significantly outperformed the median balanced and growth fund returns as reported by Super Ratings and Chant West and placed CFS among the highest-performing super funds in 2023.

Colonial First State Superannuation’s chief executive, Kelly Power, said the firm was delighted to have delivered these robust returns for its members.

“Our strong returns are especially pleasing given our continued focus on maintaining highly competitive fees and delivering value for our members,” she added.

Reflecting on the firm’s investment strategy, CIO Armitage credited a strong performance in equities, both global and domestic.

“Delivering double digit returns is a good outcome given the significant market uncertainty in 2023. Good equity market returns and a higher allocation to global shares were among the drivers of this result,” he said.

However, such market certainty looked to continue into the new year, Mr Armitage observed.

“We believe that inflation data will continue to be volatile in 2024 so diversification and active risk management will be critical components of portfolio construction in the year ahead. We continue to see valuation discrepancies across unlisted assets and will be looking to capitalise on those opportunities.”

The results follow a strong result trend from the firm, which delivered 10.7 per cent for Essential Super members over the last financial year.

The fund’s balanced FirstChoice Employer Super (Lifestage 1965–69) fund had delivered 10.5 per cent return while its growth option FirstChoice Employer Super (Lifestage 1975–79) delivered 12.2 per cent.