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Colonial First State partners with BlackRock to manage FirstChoice Lifestage portfolios

As a part of our continued focus on improving the performance of our MySuper products, Colonial First State (CFS) is now enhancing its approach to managing investments in the FirstChoice Lifestage portfolios through a new partnership with BlackRock. 

Our decision to partner with BlackRock reflects our commitment to further improve the performance of your investment and exceed the Government’s Your Future, Your Super performance benchmark.

BlackRock is a global leader in portfolio management and we’re expanding our Investment team’s capabilities to deliver the best outcomes for your investment with us and support our ongoing focus on providing competitive returns. BlackRock’s global scale will allow us to lower costs, which has already supported a reduction in the administration fee for many FirstChoice Employer Super customers. 

We will retain ultimate control over management of FirstChoice Lifestage funds and will continue to set the investment strategy, oversee investment decisions and manage the implementation of investment decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • BlackRock is one of the most well-resourced asset managers globally, employing ~16,000 staff and managing around US$9.5tn in assets. Within Australia, in addition to multi-asset, there are teams which manage equities, credit, fixed income and real assets.

  • Partnering with BlackRock to support CFS’s MySuper products, FirstChoice Employer Super and Commonwealth Essential Super, reflects our desire to continue to improve the performance of these products. Given the size and breadth of BlackRock’s investment team and resources it positions CFS’s MySuper offerings well versus large super fund offerings.

    FirstChoice Employer Super and Commonwealth Essential Super have exceeded the fund investment objectives since inception in 2013 and the investment strategy was designed around that goal. But with the introduction of the new Your Future, Your Super performance test, we are making changes to ensure we have deep analytics on the new benchmark and the best insights and capabilities to exceed it. 

    Partnering with BlackRock and utilising their global scale and international investment skills, technology capabilities and consistent track record of delivering competitive returns, will allow us to improve the performance of our MySuper products more quickly. 

    BlackRock has a large team, systems and tools already in place to manage against the new Your Future, Your Super benchmark. BlackRock’s global scale will enable us to lower costs, which has already supported a further fee reduction in the administration fee for FirstChoice Employer Super customers.

  • BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world with leading portfolio management capability and access to market leading investment strategies. This includes, but is not limited to, access to research, recommendations and Aladdin – BlackRock’s proprietary risk and investment system. BlackRock will also provide access to its very strong and diverse investment capabilities (including to third parties via its manager selection team), and sophisticated portfolio and risk management BlackRock’s scale also allows us to lower costs, which has already supported a reduction in the administration fee for FirstChoice Employer Super customers.

  • No we haven’t changed the investment strategy. We actively manage investments and make changes to improve returns when opportunities arise due to market movements as they did in the first half of 2020. We’ve made a number of changes in the past year, including appointing new investment managers. As demonstrated by our strong performance in FY21, which delivered an average return of 22.4 per cent for members over the 12 months to 30 June 2021, we have been working very hard to improve investment performance. 

    We have continued to provide very competitive fees - including recently reducing our administration fee for FirstChoice Employer Super - and we are confident given this work our performance will improve.

  • BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world with leading portfolio management capability and access to market leading investment strategies. BlackRock also provides access to very strong quantitative capability to ensure strong portfolio and risk management. BlackRock’s global scale also allows us to lower costs, which has already supported a further reduction in the administration fee for FirstChoice Employer Super customers.

    In Australia and New Zealand, BlackRock manages circa $150bn on behalf of local clients. The bench strength of the BlackRock Australian investment team is evident by its size and asset class coverage. The team is made of circa 40 investment professionals covering multi-asset, equities, fixed income, and alternatives (equity & debt, public & private), as well as a dedicated global third-party manager research team that allows for open architecture.

We’re here to help

If you have further questions or concerns, please speak to your financial adviser. If you don’t have one, please use our Find-An-Adviser site. You can also call us on 13 13 36 Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm Sydney time.