Newbie KiwiSaver scheme, Aurora, has got off to a flying start with a first quarter haul of $40 million in sight.
According to Aurora founder, Simon Rolland, the new scheme has signed on more than 1,500 members since it went live in October this year.
“We’re looking at getting $40 million by Christmas,” Rolland said.
He said almost all of the KiwiSaver flows came via the Aurora fleet of close to 80 advisers as the fast-growing group continues its client engagement blitz.
“Only two [Aurora KiwiSaver] clients came direct through our website, I think,” Rolland said.
Previously, Aurora Financial Services (the advice arm) recommended other KiwiSaver schemes including Generate and NZ Funds.
Aurora Capital, a joint venture between Rolland and ex AMP Capital multi-asset CIO, Sean Henaghan, serves as investment manager for the Aurora scheme, which also uses Implemented Investment Solutions as legal host.
The scheme features BlackRock and Mint Asset Management as underlying managers across a product range of seven funds.
“We’re planning to launch a managed fund with a bit of a twist early next year, too,” he said.
But the rapid growth of the KiwiSaver scheme is proof-of-concept for the Aurora in-house product distribution plan that hinges on a youthful army of financial advisers built from scratch just five years ago.
Only 33 himself, Rolland has almost single-handedly lowered the average age of the NZ financial advice industry with a recruitment strategy targeting younger people.
“We’ve got a lot of young advisers with BComs and finance degrees,” he said. “But what we do isn’t rocket science – we just offer five or six products that help clients financially.”
The Aurora client base also tends to be younger and sourced from the “middle 80 per cent” of the NZ wealth spectrum.
“We’re not looking at the top 10 per cent – who have plenty of choice for advice – or the bottom 10 per cent, who can’t afford it,” Rolland said.
However, the middle demographic in NZ has not been well-served by the advice industry, he said.
Aurora has been able to attract new clients to the industry as well as picking off many bank customers.
“We’ve never bought a book [of clients],” Rolland said.
With almost 80 salaried advisers in the group, Aurora is likely one of the largest Financial Advice Providers in NZ.
The fast-growth trajectory, which took off from 2018, also saw the Christchurch-headquartered Aurora rank fifth in the recent Deloitte NZ ‘Fast 50’ index. Aurora reported annual revenue growth of 461 per cent during the year, the Deloitte index shows, in a chart topped by high-profile online educational support firm, Kami (up almost 1,200 per cent year-on-year).
Rolland isn’t planning to slow down any time soon: Aurora recently brought on Digby Butcher from Threefold Advisors to head the new Aurora mortgage advisory business.
“We expect to have five or six mortgage advisers by next year,” he said.