The head of Australasian equities at New Zealand’s largest fund manager has handed in his notice to take up the newly-created chief investment officer (CIO) role at a leading boutique shop.
As at November this year, Mark Brown, will end a 15-year career with the $25 billion ANZ Investments – including three years in his current position – before decamping to the $2 billion plus Devon Funds Management.
In a statement, Devon said Brown would have “specific responsibility” for the group’s NZ-only equity funds “and will assist portfolio manager Chris Gaskin with management of the Devon Australasian portfolios when [Brown] joins Devon in January 2018”.
Following Brown’s departure, slated for the end of October, NZ shares portfolio manager, Craig Brown (no relation), would assume his duties until a permanent replacement was found, ANZ told clients last week.
Craig Brown would be assisted by equity investment manager, Craig Tyson, the ANZ note says.
“Mark will remain with us until the end of October and we are fortunate to have a talented and stable team who will take on additional responsibilities until an appointment is made,” the ANZ note says. “The Australasian Head of Equities position is an important role, so we will be running an external and internal search for a high calibre candidate to lead the team with immediate effect.”
ANZ Investments manages over $10 billion on behalf of the blue bank’s three KiwiSaver schemes, which collectively control almost a quarter of the market. It is understood ANZ would soon announce the fate of its Australian wealth management division – currently subject to a number of bids – while the bank’s NZ insurance arm was also reportedly on the block.
Last year new ANZ chief, Shayne Elliott, announced a shake-up of the bank’s wealth strategy while postponing any decision on the NZ business until 2017. In April this year, ANZ Investments took over some core portfolio operations duties from the Australian arm as Elliott also confirmed its KiwiSaver business was not for sale.
Meanwhile, Slade Robertson, who stepped up from portfolio manager to take over the Devon managing director gig last November, will chair the Auckland-based boutique’s investment committee until Brown officially turns up for work next year.
Launched by Brook Asset Management founder, Paul Glass, in 2010, Devon recently formed a back-office joint venture – Investment Services Group – with investment consultancy firm, JMIS (which recently renamed its funds arm Clarity Funds Management).
In a statement Robertson said: “At Devon we are committed to delivering superior investment performance for our investors, and we are confident that these appointments will ensure we remain well placed to do so.”
At the same time, Richard O’Brien, former head of investments at Sovereign Insurance (which sold its funds business to JMIS in 2015), has joined the “wider group in a senior management role”, the Devon statement says.
“Richard has previously had responsibility for several billion dollars in funds on behalf of ASB and Sovereign, and had management responsibility for over 25 staff,” the release says.