Kiwi Wealth joined the $5 billion high club during the September quarter staking a claim as the country’s largest 100 per cent locally-owned retail fund manager.
Excluding the $7 billion plus Fisher Funds, which counts US private equity firm TA Associates as a large minority shareholder, the government-owned Kiwi Wealth would be vying for the title with Milford Asset Management, which also recently topped the $5 billion mark.
Again discounting Fisher, the almost $3.5 billion Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver scheme would be the undisputed biggest “wholly locally-owned” provider, the group said in a statement.
According to the release, the KiwiSaver scheme represents about 70 per cent of Kiwi Wealth funds under management (FUM) with the remainder in its super scheme and private portfolios.
The Disclose website shows the Kiwi Wealth super scheme had accumulated about $65 million since its 2009 launch under the former Gareth Morgan Investments (GMI) banner. As at the end of September, the now-closed Kiwi Wealth Master Trust reported about $900 million under management.
Joe Bishop, Kiwi Wealth general manager product, said the group’s KiwiSaver scheme saw strong growth in membership as well as FUM over the 12 months to September 30, reaching almost 185,000 on a net gain of about 20,000.
“That’s testament to the work we’ve done in the past year to further enhance our digital Future You tool to help our members make good decisions with their KiwiSaver investment,” Bishop said in a statement.
He said Kiwi Wealth was also the “only default KiwiSaver provider in the country to have all our funds certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia”.
“We also built and launched what is one of New Zealand’s leading responsible investment solutions, making us the only default KiwiSaver provider in the country to have all our funds certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.”
Susan Easton, Kiwi Wealth head of investment strategy, the KiwiSaver funds had performed well over the last year driven largely by the manager’s overweight position in global equities which enjoyed a good ride during the period.
Easton said the Kiwi Wealth flagship KiwiSaver products – the growth and balanced funds, which managed about $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively – were top-performers over the 12 months to September 30 in the latest Melville Jessup Weaver investment survey.
However, over the three years to September 30 both funds drop to near the bottom of the MJW pack reflecting the fluctuating fortunes of Kiwi Wealth’s international equities loading: the growth and balanced funds allocate about 80 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, to global shares – the highest among both peer groups – and virtually nothing to NZ shares versus the peer norm of 20 per cent or more.
Kiwibank paid over $50 million to purchase the Kiwi Wealth pre-cursor firm, Gareth Morgan Investments, in 2012. According to the latest accounts of ultimate majority owner, government entity NZ Post, Kiwi Wealth is valued at about $44 million.
Last year the NZ Super Fund and the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) fund acquired a joint 45 per cent stake in NZ Post subsidiary Kiwi Group Holdings, which owns Kiwibank and Kiwi Wealth.