Investment News NZ (IN NZ) understands Trustees Executors (TE) has won the Fisher Funds combined registry contract, besting Mercer in the one-on-one back-office battle.
If confirmed, the news would see Mercer lose its biggest registry client in NZ while proving a huge relief to TE.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Fisher Funds constituted about half of TE’s estimated $6 million of registry revenue.
Following the loss, Mercer’s largest registry client would be its own approximately $1.2 billion KiwiSaver scheme.
As reported by IN NZ in September, Fisher Funds was seeking to rationalise its registry business, which was split between Mercer and TE for historical reasons.
While TE supplies registry to most Fisher funds, Mercer provides the service to the products the group acquired as part of its $79 million purchase of Tower Investments in 2013.
In the KiwiSaver space, Mercer was registry provider for the $1.4 billion Fisher Two (ex Tower) fund with TE in charge of the $1.2 billion Fisher scheme.
Glenn Ashwell, Fisher general manager, told IN NZ in September the registry rationalisation was intended to “improve the service offering to our clients”.
Ashwell said at the time any transition between registry providers should be smooth with both Mercer and TE now utilising the new Bravura technology system, Sonata.
“Obviously, when we do rationalise down to one provider it will make one of them unhappy – but we don’t want that to affect the transition,” he said in September.
In total, Fisher Funds manages about $6.6 billion, according to local research house, FundSource, with about 260,000 underlying clients.
It is understood Fisher staff were informed of new registry arrangements last week. Ashwell was not available for comment prior to publication.