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Policy: Derivatives risk management


This Derivatives Risk Management policy documents all cases where the University has exposure to derivatives through external managers acting under a mandate from the University or through collective investments, or through investments directly held by the University.


The University’s investment objectives and strategies have been formulated and are contained in the Investment policy. This document contains the asset allocation ranges and relevant statement in respect of the use of derivatives.


This policy applies to all funds held in the University’s investment Portfolio.

Policy statement

Objectives and considerations

  1. The University is a long term investor and considers the following objectives when considering the use of derivatives:
  • Derivatives are an integral part of the implementation of the investment strategy and may be used for, but not limited to:
  • Hedging – to protect an asset or cash flow against fluctuations in market value or foreign currency exposures; and
  • Transactional efficiency – a cost effective and practical means of implementing investment strategies or managing risks associated with the investment strategy.

Approach to derivative risk management

  1. The Council, through its Finance Committee, approaches derivative risk management in the following manner:
  • Where allowed by their mandates, or relevant fund documentation for pooled investments, external asset managers are permitted to use futures, options and other derivative instruments to assist with the effective management of the portfolio of assets;
  • Investment with each external manager is made after due consideration of each product’s Information Memorandum/Prospectus. The University through its Finance Committee has also given consideration to the relevant Derivative Risk Statements (DRS) supplied for each investment;
  • Regular monitoring of each manager’s compliance with its DRS is also undertaken. The University however, is aware that the adequacy of systems and procedures alone are not guarantees against the risks of derivative exposures. The integrity and skill of the manager are also important in managing these risks. The University considers a manager’s level of integrity and investment skill before appointing a manager and regularly reviews these factors throughout the terms of its appointment.
  • Directly held investments including listed infrastructure, Australian Investment Trusts and fixed income limit capital loss through the use of futures. Derivatives are not utilised in respect to the other directly held investments: Cash accounts are used to meet day-to-day requirements; and Term Deposits.


  1. Appropriate contracts (such as International Swaps and Derivatives Association - ISDA Master Agreements and an associated Credit Support Annex) must exist between the manager and counterparties.
  2. Non “over-the-counter” derivatives are traded on an exchange which is a licensed central counterparty that guarantees the financial settlement obligations of the exchange traded contracts.
  3. Derivatives are valued using a mark-to-market methodology by the custodian. Revaluations are undertaken on a daily basis. All derivative positions are covered by collateral in the form of cash or cash equivalent.
  4. External asset managers may be permitted to use derivatives consistent with the investment mandate given. These are specified in the agreement with each appointed manager. The total market value of the mandate assets plus the total market exposure of the derivatives held do not exceed the total market value of the mandate portfolio. Leverage is not permitted.
  5. Each manager granted the use of derivatives in the implantation of the mandate provides the University with an audited Derivative Risk Statement on an annual basis. Each manager provides the University with a copy of its current derivatives usage policy and to certify that the derivative exposures managed conform to their policy.

Review of this policy

  1. This policy will be reviewed at least annually by the Finance Committee or more frequently if:
  • Meaningful change is made to the investment selection process;
  • Relevant legislation or regulation requirements change.
  1. When required, the Corporate Governance and Risk Office will audit and report to the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Finance Committee on the appropriateness of, and compliance with, this policy.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Derivatives risk management
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_017811
Purpose This Derivatives Risk Management Policy documents all cases where the University has exposure to derivatives through external managers acting under a mandate from the University or through collective investments, or through investments directly held by the University.
Audience Staff
Category Governance
Topic/ SubTopic Finance - Investments
Effective Date 4 Jun 2021
Next Review Date 4 Jun 2026
Responsible Officer: Chief Financial Officer
Approved By: ANU Council
Contact Area Finance and Business Services
Authority: Australian National University Act 1991
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Corporations Act 2001 (and associated regulations)
Corporations Regulations 2001
APRA’s Prudential Standard SPS 530 Investment Governance
Prudential Practice Guide SPG 530 Investment Governance
Delegations 346, 348, 350, 351, 356, 357, 448, 449, 450, 362, 451, 453, 454, 455

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.