ANZ will bulk up its NZ-based investment team as it prepares to take on further responsibility for managing Australian-sourced money.
Graham Ansell, head of ANZ Investments NZ, said the appointment of ex New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS) portfolio manager, Daria Murray, as a senior equities analyst last week was just part of a broader realignment of the Australasian assets management team.
Ansell said while the New Zealand-based team has managed some Australasian assets for ANZ Australian clients for 18 months, the reshuffle recognises its growing importance.
“When ANZ assessed its direct Australasian investment skills, New Zealand was identified as the place to manage it from,” he said.
Ansell said following the restructure, ANZ would close its Melbourne fixed income office, relocating the roles to Auckland, which will report to Australasian head of fixed interest, Iain Cox.
He said the New Zealand-based fixed income team would expand from three to five as a result of the changes with a recruitment process underway.
On the Australasian equities side, the bank would establish a yet-to-be-filled portfolio management role in Sydney to be supported by two analysts.
“All analysts will report to [Auckland-based] John Middleton, and portfolio managers report to Mark Brown [also in Auckland],” Ansell said.
Initially, the NZ-based team would manage Australasian assets for the Australian private bank arm, he said.
However, Ansell said the group hoped to broaden its scope to include Australian super fund and other wholesale mandates.
“We have a long track record as a good investment manager in New Zealand, which has been identified by the wider ANZ group,” he said. “… But [in Australia] the model has to prove itself before we expand the offer. We want to be seen as a best-of-breed manager.”
According to Ansell, ANZ Investments NZ is the country’s largest wholesale manager, boasting about $22 billion under management.
As well as providing investment services to the bank’s KiwiSaver schemes – collectively the nation’s largest with more than $5 billion under management – ANZ Investments has been successful in the broader NZ wholesale market.
While it manages Australasian assets in-house, ANZ NZ outsources global investments to a range of managers, sharing fund selection resources with its Australian parent.
After buying out the remaining 51 per cent share of ING insurance and wealth management in 2009, ANZ NZ retained an in-house asset management team while the Australian arm outsourced most investment management duties.
ANZ’s decision to boost fund management responsibilities in New Zealand counters the usual trend where Australian-owned entities tend to assume more control of their trans-Tasman subsidiaries.