After the first-ever delegation to Australia by the Indonesian Pension Fund Association, the organizer of the trip, John Donovan, said he hoped some of the big Indonesian funds would become co-investors in the region alongside Australian funds.

Donovan, the managing director of AFM Investment Partners, said last week: “The Indonesian delegation was interested to learn about how our funds invest, asset allocation, governance – how we do things and how we operate and maintain superannuation.”

He said he hoped, in the future, Australian funds would invest alongside Indonesian funds in the same way they co-operate with pension funds in other countries.

Indonesia has a lot of pension funds, mainly corporate, but they tend to be small. For instance the Indonesian association has 244 employer-sponsored pension funds as members, but they have combined assets of only about US$14 billion. The main Indonesian government fund, which has about 7 million public servant members, also has assets of about US$14 billion. The association, however, pre-dates Australia’s AIST, having been established in 1985.

Gatut Subadio, the chairman of the association who led the delegation, said he was impressed the Australian system and enjoyed meeting Australian counterparts to help build a better understanding. He said the Indonesians also wanted to exchange ideas on investment strategies.

AFM represents managers in Australia under its own AFSL. It has also provided Responsible Entity and trustee services, as well as third-party marketing.

Donovan’s interest in the delegation is that his firm represents Mandiri Investasi, the investment arm of Indonesia’s largest bank. Muhammad Hanif, the chief executive of Mandiri Investasi, was also on the trip. But Donovan has other, broader, interests in the region as the founder of the annual Investing in Asia conference held by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies.

By John Donovan –