Fisher Funds is shaping up to invest more in global fixed income and emerging market equities directly after altering guidelines in some of its offer documents.
In the revised prospectuses for the almost $1.4 billion Fisher Funds Two KiwiSaver scheme, the manager says it is “likely that in future the Funds will invest some of its assets [specifically bonds and emerging markets shares] directly rather than through other funds”.
“If the Funds invest in assets directly, [underlying fund expenses] will no longer be incurred,” the prospectus says, with similar wording included in scheme documents for the $388 million Fisher ‘Lifesaver’ fund – an old-school retail super scheme.
The Lifesaver and Fisher Two schemes – both former Tower products – collectively invest about $300 million in global fixed income, currently outsourced to PIMCO and Wellington. In its original KiwiSaver scheme, currently boasting funds under management of over $1 billion, Fisher manages about $100 million of global bonds directly.
Mark Brighouse, Fisher chief investment officer, said the document revisions are not a precursor to replacing either PIMCO or Wellington as underlying managers.
“We just want to have the flexibility to adjust manager weights and do more directly if we wish,” Brighouse said.
He said Fisher would adopt a similar approach to emerging markets equities in the products, which is currently outsourced to UK-based manager Somerset Capital Management.
“We have a different approach to managing emerging markets in-house [than Somerset],” Brighouse said. “We want to be able to access a broad opportunity set.”
Fisher also replaced PwC as auditor with KPMG in the Fisher Two KiwiSaver fund, bringing it into line with the group’s other scheme.
Fisher Funds Two KiwiSaver includes the group’s default product, a range of other risk-based funds and a life-cycle fund rebalancing service, dubbed ‘GlidePath’.
GlidePath automatically increases member exposure to income assets from age 28, adding 1 per cent in that asset class each year until age 48 and 2.5 per cent annually from 49 to 66. Thereafter, income assets increase by 0.5 per cent per annum to a maximum of 85 per cent.
Brighouse said the GlidePath option is proving popular.