Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oh / the symbolism / of it all

The (Australian) Future Fund's board of guardians has defended its decision to appoint a U.S. bank as global custodian of the $51 billion fund, saying it will still make its own investment decisions.

Chicago-based Northern Trust was appointed on May 10 as global custodian to the Future Fund, a decision that been attacked by the opposition and unions. Its regional headquarters are in Singapore, where the work it's won from the Future Fund will be conducted with some help from staff in Bangalore, India.

The Future Fund was set up by the Australian Federal government last year to cover public service superannuation liabilities, which are projected to be over $140 billion by 2020.

The Finance Sector Union called the decision an insult.

"This is the largest pool of money ever created in Australia and the Government is not prepared to entrust Australians to manage it," said union secretary Paul Schroder. "The decision means $51 billion will be managed in Singapore under U.S. corporate regulations."

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