Russell Investments was the fastest-growing manager in the New Zealand retail funds market over 2014, according to new data released by Australian research firm, Plan for Life.
The Plan for Life report shows Russell grew retail funds under management (FUM) by 76.6 per cent over the calendar year and a whopping 54.9 per cent in the December quarter – albeit from a low base. Kiwi Wealth, the Kiwibank-owned investment unit, had the next-best December quarter, growing 25.4 per cent over the period.
The Kiwi Wealth December influx probably reflected transfers from its closing AMP-managed KiwiSaver scheme. Russell, meanwhile, has benefitted as the underlying manager of the fast-growing BNZ KiwiSaver.
Kiwi Wealth and Milford Asset Management both saw annual FUM grow above 50 per cent with a swag of managers, including BT, Grosvenor and ASB reporting growth of 15-25 per cent.
Only AMP went backwards over both the December quarter and calendar year, reporting growth rates of -6 per cent and -3.7 per cent respectively. AMP retail FUM fell more than $400 million over the December quarter, slumping to $6.54 billion compared to $6.96 billion as at September 2014. The dramatic quarterly shift is likely the flip-side of Kiwi Wealth’s gain over the period following the closure of the AMP-managed Kiwibank KiwiSaver scheme.
AMP’s retail market share shrank from 13.5 per cent in December 2013 to just 11 per cent a year later, Plan for Life reports.
ANZ remains on top of the FUM charts with $17.8 billion as at the end of 2014 followed by ASB ($8.25 billion) and BT/Westpac ($7.45 billion). Russell with $553 million under management as at December 2014 was the smallest retail manager listed by Plan for Life, although it grew market share from 0.6 per cent to 0.9 per cent over the year.
Overall, Plan for Life says New Zealand retail fund managers had a stellar year growing almost 18 per cent over the period with total FUM nudging $60 billion.
Both the KiwiSaver and unit trust sectors were boosted by rising inflows and generally positive markets, growing 31.1 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively over 2014. By market share as at end December 2014, non-KiwiSaver retail managed funds remain marginally ahead with $28.2 billion in FUM compared to $26.4 billion in KiwiSaver.
However, both the superannuation and insurance bond sectors were in negative territory over the annual period, retreating a respective -9.1 per cent and -3.1 per cent, the Plan for Life report says.