Investing back into our industries
As your industry super fund, our aim is to help members achieve financial security in retirement; but we're also committed to supporting our industries.
As part of this commitment, we have several unique investments back into our industries that not only earn investment returns for members, but also help to create job opportunities and strengthen our member industries.
These investments form part of Media Super's Opportunistic Investments portfolio.
Film and television
We have a long, rich history of story-telling in Australia but unfortunately it's not always easy to get these stories onto our screens. So Media Super found a way to help.
In a landmark partnership with Fulcrum Media Finance, Media Super established a revolving loan fund in 2010 to cash-flow the Australian Producer Offset and provide access to pre-sale advance loans for film and TV productions across Australia and New Zealand.
Originally launched as a $30 million revolving loan in 2010, the investment was doubled to $60 million in 2015 to meet funding demand, and was increased again in 2018 to $80 million. We have loaned more than $230 million to help finance a range of film and TV productions since the facility was launched.
Since 2010 this relatively low-risk investment has provided stable returns for members, returning an average of 6.51% per annum.* Our Balanced, High Growth, Growth and Stable investment options all have some level of exposure to the film and TV investment.
Through the revolving loan facility, we have helped to finance more than 170 local productions and have provided Australian actors, filmmakers and crew continued opportunities to ply their craft here on home turf.
Some of the productions we have supported over the years include The Dressmaker, Lion, Top End Wedding, Breath, Last Cab to Darwin, Sweet Country, Upper Middle Bogan, Rake, Top of the Lake, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Cleverman, and Struggle Street, as well as a host of children's programming.
You can find more info on the productions we've supported over the past decade in our annual reports.
Please note, any enquiries regarding funding for a project should be directed to Fulcrum Media Finance.
How does the investment work?
The Producer Offset
In 2007, the Federal Government announced a tax rebate scheme for film and television known as the Australian Producer Offset. Approved projects are able to claim a tax rebate on completion of the project; but much, if not all, of the rebate amount is actually needed during pre-production and filming.
Through Fulcrum, we are able to lend up to the rebate amount to the producer(s) of a film or TV show and then have the money repaid at agreed milestones. Interest is paid on the money lent to producers, and this low risk investment in turn provides a stable return for Media Super, and ultimately our members.
It’s important to know that our investment in the Producer Offset does not rely on a movie’s success at the box office. The loan we provide only funds the pre-production phase of a film or TV show – we simply help get screen projects off the ground.
To learn more about the Producer Offset, please visit Screen Australia's website.
Pre-sale advance loans
Pre-sale advance loans are used for the distribution of films. Pre-sale advance loans are generally for smaller amounts and they are usually paid back sooner than Producer Offset loans.
Australian Chamber Orchestra Instrument Fund
In 2018, Media Super became the second largest investor in the Australia Chamber Orchestra's (ACO) Instrument Fund. The ACO established the Instrument Fund in 2011 to offer patrons and investors the rare opportunity to participate in the ownership of a bank of historic stringed instruments.
The ACO Instrument Fund currently holds four assets from the ‘Golden Age’ – instruments made between 1560 to 1740 in Cremona, Italy – of instrument-making: a 1590 Brothers Amati violin, a 1728/29 Stradivarius violin, a 1714 Guarneri violin, and a 1616 Brothers Amati cello. These four rare instruments are played by the professional musicians of the ACO and are collectively worth approximately $8 million.
Media Super has invested $2 million and we are currently the fund's only institutional investor, with a unit holding of 29%.
How does the investment work?
The Instrument Fund is an unlisted Australian unit trust available only to wholesale investors and its investment objective is to achieve long-term capital gains.
The structure of the ACO Instrument Fund makes it an ideal opportunistic investment for a super fund, given the long investment time frame, the steady capital growth of almost 6% per annum,* and the diversification from traditional assets it provides.
The Golden Age instruments acquired through the ACO Instrument Fund are selected not only for their capital appreciation, but also to provide a quality of sound that contributes to the ACO and enhances its international standing.
For more information about the Instrument Fund, please visit the ACO's website.
*Return to 30 June 2019. Investment returns are not guaranteed and past performance gives no indication of future returns.