ClearGlass fee benchmarking service available in Australia

By Penny Pryor

Jefferson & Shea Group has launched Jefferson & Shea Analytics Pty Ltd to distribute the ClearGlass fee benchmarking service in Australia.

The service allows superannuation and other institutional investors to see and compare what they are being charged by fund managers relative to the rest of the market. It has been operating in the UK for four years during which it has signed up 850 schemes. The more clients it has signed up, the more data it is able to collect and the better results it can provide.

Institutional asset owners that sign up to the service provide data around the fees and performance of their fund managers to Jefferson and Shea Analytics/ClearGlass, which is able to compare it to the rest of the market and provide information around how expensive, or inexpensive, those fees are for the asset owner relative to performance.

Principal David Braga says that while asset consultants in Australia provide as much information as they can around appropriate fees to pay for funds management services, there is nothing as specific as ClearGlass.

"The difference is when you only ask one question, and just provide the answer on that one question, they've ended up with a much wider data set, than the asset consultants, for example, in the UK. And it's the type of topic where the width of your data actually does matter," Braga says.

"We feel quite strongly that applying that data to the area of fund manager fees will provide a benefit and what's [been] shown in the UK ... they're getting an average saving of eight basis points for the clients that use the service. That says that even in a fairly sophisticated market that you would have thought was well priced there's still this gap of value that that is not as well priced as it needs to be."

Fund managers do not pay to be part of the service, but Jefferson & Shea Analytics Pty Ltd is making a classification of 'Elite Manager' available to fund managers who perform well.