Former Public Trust head of investments, Colin Thomson, has landed a similar role at the Medical Assurance Society (MAS).
Thomson took up the newly-created position earlier this month as MAS split the duties previously managed by head of investment products, Daniel Callaghan. Thomson joined Public Trust in 1998 before taking up the head of investments role in 2001.
MAS manages more than $1.4 billion across its KiwiSaver, superannuation and insurance reserves units.
According to a MAS spokesperson, Thomson’s role was “established to support growth as well as increase capacity for the specialised risk and compliance focus required”. It is understood Public Trust begun recruiting for his replacement.
Under the changes Callaghan has taken up the position of MAS investment risk and compliance manager.
Last week MAS also received a third-party stamp of approval for its recent conversion to a socially responsible investment (SRI) style.
As at September 14, MAS was certified by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA), the group said in a statement. MAS told members of the SRI policy last month in a move that has seen the manager screen investments in firms that “manufacture and sale of armaments or tobacco, or the exploration, extraction, refining or processing of fossil fuels”.
“In addition, the funds will not invest in any utility that primarily burns fossil fuels,” the MAS statement says.
Following the move, MAS also dropped exposure to most of its $100 million or so alternative assets managed by the likes of Ellerston, GMOP, LM, Maui, NZAM, Pencarrow, Salt, and Winton.
Some MAS portfolio fees have dropped since implementing the responsible investment approach, the statement says.
Martin Stokes, MAS chief executive, said the shift to SRI was “the right approach for MAS”.
“Since announcing this change, we’ve had considerable feedback from Members endorsing the new policy,” Stokes said in the release. “In their professional lives, our Members are often dealing with the negative effects of tobacco and fossil fuels. We have the ability to target sectors where we’re able to make a difference to the wider community where our Members live and work.”
MAS supplies a range of financial services to some 30,000 members with links to the health professions.
Last week the government-owned Kiwi Wealth also received the RIAA stamp of approval across all six of its KiwiSaver funds.
In a release, Kiwi Wealth says that makes “it the first default KiwiSaver provider with all funds verified as being invested responsibly”.
Kiwi Wealth switched to an SRI model about the same time as MAS, with the Wellington-based firm dropping Vanguard as its offshore equities manager in exchange for a bespoke in-house portfolio.
The new Kiwi Wealth ‘enhanced index’ fund includes “a triple layer responsible investment process across its entire portfolio”, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the RIAA has confirmed the agenda for its NZ conference, set down for October 31 in Auckland. The one-day event features speakers from across the NZ SRI investment and advice spectrum as well as a presentation by EcoStore founder, Malcolm Rand.