The Auckland-based JMIS has rebranded its $275 million portfolio investment entity (PIE) funds arm while doubling the product range with the launch of three new funds last week.
Previously known as JMIS Investment Management, the newly-badged Clarity Funds Management has added the Diversified Income, Diversified Growth and Global Shares to its existing PIE suite.
JMIS, which launched three PIEs between 2007 to 2014 covering Australasian equities and fixed income assets, appointed Boston-headquartered MFS as manager of the new global shares fund but manages the other five funds in-house.
Clarity currently boasts an investment team of four, headed by JMIS directors Alan Lee and Andrew Kelleher, with plans to increase the head-count over the next year.
Under a just-inked deal, JMIS will also share certain back-office services with Devon Funds Management. Paul Glass, Devon chief, owns 33 per cent of JMIS via the Investment Hub Trustees entity.
According to Kelleher, the shared services agreement would help both firms control back-office expenses without compromising quality in an era where new regulation was driving compliance costs higher across the industry.
“In a number of areas we think a sensible solution is to have centres of excellence: compliance, accounting, legal support, IT, marketing, HR, procurement, and independent directors,” Kelleher said in a statement. “This arrangement allows specialisation and a depth of resources that individual businesses cannot achieve.”
He said many, if not all, smaller funds management businesses may need to implement similar strategies to rein in spiraling middle- and back-office costs.
Despite their back-office collaboration both Devon and JMIS would continue to operate as separate entities with “their own boards, audit risk and compliance committees, staff and premises”.
“The front ends of the businesses need to remain separate to protect the integrity of investment offerings and client relationships,” Kelleher said.
“From a client point of view nothing will change. To the degree there is any overlap, which is very limited, Chinese walls are in place which are assisted by the geographical separation of the businesses and modern IT systems.”
As well as the PIE shop, JMIS provides investment consultancy services and manages the more than $600 million Select Wealth Management discretionary investment management service (DIMS) formerly owned by ASB subsidiary, Sovereign. In total, JMIS oversees about $2 billion of client funds.
Devon manages well over $1 billion for a range of retail and wholesale clients.