2.1 Background

Colonial First State Investments Limited (CFSIL) and Avanteos Investments Limited (Avanteos) are two RSE licensees in the CBA Group. Each is part of the Colonial First State (CFS) business.[1]

CFSIL is the trustee of Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust (FirstChoice fund), a public offer fund with over $71 billion funds under management and around 735,793 members.[2] The fund offers a range of products under the FirstChoice brand.[3] CFSIL is also the trustee of another fund called Commonwealth Essential Super.[4]

Avanteos is the trustee of various funds and the operator of investor directed portfolio services.[5] It provides products and services to around 71,000 investors and members holding superannuation, investment and pension assets invested through Avanteos with an approximate value of $29 billion.[6]

On 25 June 2018, CBA announced its intention to demerge its wealth management business, including the CFS businesses.[7] The CFS businesses (with other CBA wealth and mortgage broking businesses) will be transferred into a new entity, shares in which will be issued to CBA shareholders.

The Commission’s inquiries examined four aspects of the conduct of CFSIL and Avanteos:

  • the transition of accrued default account (ADA) balances and default contributions to a MySuper product;
  • the charging of fees for no service;
  • the sale of superannuation in CBA branches; and
  • the performance of members’ cash investments and related party arrangements.

The Commission heard evidence from Ms Linda Elkins, the Executive General Manager of CFS and a director of CFSIL and Mr Peter Chun, the General Manager of Distribution for CFS.


[1] Exhibit 5.182, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 7 August 2018, 1 [2].

[2] Exhibit 5.180, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 26 July 2018, 2 [14], 37, Annexure A.

[3] Exhibit 5.180, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 26 July 2018, 3 [14]–[15]; Exhibit 5.232, Witness statement of Peter Chun, 31 July 2018, 2 [11].

[4] Exhibit 5.232, Witness statement of Peter Chun, 31 July 2018, 3 [14].

[5] Exhibit 5.182, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 7 August 2018, 2 [7].

[6] Exhibit 5.179, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 26 July 2018, 2 [14].

[7] Exhibit 5.180, Witness statement of Linda Elkins, 26 July 2018, 4 [20].