Pathfinder Asset Management has commissioned a new third-party research report on its World Equity Fund (WEF) as it seeks to grow adviser distribution, according to executive director, John Berry.
Berry said Pathfinder recently engaged Nelson-based JM Consulting, headed by John Mellor, to produce a research report on its WEF.
He said the shortage of fund research options – exacerbated by Morningstar’s recent pull-back from NZ and FundSource’s switch to a quant-only approach – has made it particularly hard for local boutique firms to grow in the retail market.
“There’s a real void there,” Berry said. “Advisers need some kind of third-party research for compliance purposes.”
He said while Pathfinder did pay for the JM Consulting report, it had no influence on the findings. JM Consulting currently provides third-party investment research to the Professional Investment Associates (PIA) advisory network.
PIA is a group of about 10 affiliated financial adviser firms that collectively manage about $400 million.
FundSource, which withdrew from offering qualitative manager research this May, published a report on the WEF in December last year.
Despite the research roadblock, Pathfinder recently cracked through $100 million under management across its three funds: the $35 million exchange-traded fund (ETF) based WEF; the $8 million Global Water Fund, and; the $60 million Commodity Plus Fund.
Berry said the firm planned to add a further product to its range within the next month.
“It’s taken us six years to get to $100 million,” he said. “But we’ve got to critical mass and have proven longevity.”
This month Pathfinder also appointed Kent Fraser to its investment committee. Berry said Fraser would provide “independent global investment expertise” with a special focus on foreign exchange and Asian markets.
“Kent has worked for investment banks in London, China, New Zealand and Korea – in roles covering trading, treasury and risk,” he said. “He has also been the deputy treasurer at Fonterra, acting treasurer at Transpower and a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.”