Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO)

From 5 October 2021, product issuers and distributors (including financial advisers) of financial products need to comply with the new Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO).

Summary

  • The aim of DDO– why DDO was introduced and what does it seek to achieve.
  • The Target Market Determination (TMD)– what is a TMD and how have OIG and its Investment Managers identified the appropriate investors for our funds?
  • OIG’s obligations– outlines the obligations for OIG as a product issuer.

We also provide some answers to the common questions we have received from financial advisers about DDO.

The aim of DDO

DDO is intended to help consumers identify appropriate financial products by requiring product issuers and advisers to have a consumer-centric approach to designing and distributing products to retail clients.

Three ways the obligations help retail consumers:

  1. Product issuers, such as OIG, need to design financial products that are consistent with the likely objectives, financial situation and needs of the consumers for whom they are intended;
  2. Product issuers and distributors need to take ‘reasonable steps’ that are likely to result in financial products reaching consumers in the target market described in the TMD;
  3. Product issuers need to monitor customer outcomes and review their financial products to ensure that consumers are receiving financial products that are likely to be consistent with their likely objectives, financial situation, and needs.

To meet these obligations, product issuers such as OIG need to make a Target Market Determination (TMD) for each of their financial products that are currently offered to retail clients. OIG’s main financial products issued to retail clients (“investors”) are interests (or units) in registered managed investment schemes (or “funds”).

The Target Market Determination (TMD)

OIG will ensure that for every financial product they issue to retail clients, a TMD is publicly available. Each TMD will:

  • describe the class, or type, of investor who the product is likely to be appropriate for;
  • specify conditions and restrictions on how products can be distributed to investors;
  • specify events or circumstances that will require OIG to review the TMD for their products; and
  • outline the information that third-party distributors must provide to OIG in respect of the relevant financial product.

The TMDs can be found here, along with the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for each of OIG’s retail products that are available to investors.

Our obligations

DDO aims to ensure product issuers and distributers place consumer outcomes at the heart of the product design, product distribution, and the monitoring and review stages of the product life cycle. While different obligations are imposed on product issuers than product distributors, their shared focus is improving consumer outcomes.

What are the main responsibilities of financial advisers providing personal advice?

  • Financial advisers must consider the Target Market Determination (TMD) when giving personal advice to help meet their best interest duty.
  • Financial Advisers must notify OIG of a significant dealing in a product that is not consistent with the product’s TMD. This does not prevent a Financial Adviser from recommending the product if it is appropriate for their client.
  • Financial Advisers need to provide to OIG details of the complaints about OIG’s products, and any other distribution information specified in the TMD relating to the product.
  • Financial Advisers must maintain records and information relating to your obligations under DDO. Financial Advisers must keep records of relevant distribution information (e.g. the number of complaints and any other information specified in the target market determination) for up to seven years.
  • Where a Financial Adviser must provide information to OIG, they should do so by emailing DDO@oneinvestment.com.au.

What are OIG’s main responsibilities as the issuer?

  • OIG must make a Target Market Determination (TMD) for all of our funds offered to retail clients (except those funds closed to applications at 5 October 2021, even where they operate a distribution reinvestment plan).
  • OIG must take reasonable steps to ensure distribution of its financial products is consistent with the TMD.
  • OIG must make our TMDs available to the public free of charge.
  • OIG must periodically review the TMDs to ensure they remain appropriate.
  • OIG must notify ASIC of any significant dealings in a product that are not consistent with that product’s TMD.
  • OIG must specify distribution information that distributors must collect, keep and report back to it as the issuer of that product.
  • OIG must maintain records and information relating to our obligations under the DDO regime.

Replacing documentation from OIG

OIG’s documentation has been updated to reflect DDO. From 5 October 2021, any Fund Documents you have from OIG should be destroyed or replaced. You should also update any links you have to digital versions of our documents. This includes (but is not limited to) product application forms, PDSs, and supplemental PDSs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ‘Design and Distribution Obligations’?

From 5 October 2021, financial product issuers and distributors (including Licensees and financial advisers) need to comply with the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO), which are a customer-centric approach to the design and distribution of financial products. These obligations are intended to help customers identify the financial products that are appropriate for them.

For more details, read the Regulatory Guide 274 – Product design and distribution obligations.

Who is a product issuer and a product distributor?

Issuers and distributors covered under the Design and Distribution Obligations as the below.

Product issuers include persons who:

  • issue a financial product; and
  • is required to prepare a PDS for the product.

Product issuers include OIG, for example.

Product distributors generally include “regulated persons”, which may include AFS licensees, authorised representatives, various platform providers, among others.

When do these obligations take effect?

From 5 October 2021, issuers and distributors (including financial advisers) of financial products need to comply with the product design and distribution obligations.

Up to 8 October 2021, where we determine the risk of consumer harm is low, we may process applications that use our old application form that does not refer to TMDs.  After 8 October 2021 we will only process application forms that refer to the TMD.

What is a Target Market Determination?

A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that describes who a product is designed to be appropriate for, how the product can be distributed, and the events which will cause the TMD  to be reviewed. TMDs will be available for all of OIG’s retail products available for investment after 5 October 2021 (so, this excludes retail funds no longer accepting applications on 5 October 2021). Closed-funds with distribution reinvestment plans, are not subject to TMD requirements.

Where can I find the Target Market Determination for a product?

The Target Market Determination can be found here, along with the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for each retail product available to new investors.