ANZ Investments has handed the Australian-based Maple-Brown Abbott (MBA) a newly-created global listed infrastructure mandate, seeding the portfolio with $250 million.
The move brings the number of external managers on the ANZ roster to eight, all of which run offshore assets on behalf of the $32 billion plus bank investment arm.
Global listed infrastructure is a relatively new asset class that has only come into its own over the last decade or so.
Often touted as a half-way house between property and equities, global listed infrastructure targets assets that offer steady income and some measure of inflation-protection.
The change adds further diversification for ANZ funds – the biggest non government-owned manager in NZ – including the group’s $14 billion or so KiwiSaver assets.
MBA is among a small group of managers offering specialist global listed infrastructure to NZ investors with others such as Colonial First State Global Asset Management (which rebranded as First Sentier Investors today) and AMP Capital also in the game.
The Sydney-headquartered MBA has a long history in its home country as an institutional Australian equities manager but diversified more recently into other asset classes including global listed infrastructure in 2012.
In 2015, MBA launched into NZ via a relationship with third-party marketing firm, Heathcote Investment Partners.
According to MBA, about half of the global infrastructure fund is held in regulated utility markets such as water, gas and electricity.
“… the remainder is comprised of concession infrastructure assets including toll roads and airports, along with assets that are subject to long-dated contracts such as pipelines and satellite,” MBA says.
The MBA global listed infrastructure universe comprises roughly 110 stocks with a combined market cap of close to US$13 trillion.
Since inception, the MBA Global Listed Infrastructure Fund has returned an annualised 15.8 per cent against 7.3 per cent for its benchmark – the OECD total inflation index plus 5.5 per cent.
As well as MBA, ANZ Investments uses Franklin Templeton, LSV Asset Management, MFS and Vontobel for international equities and Vanguard for global fixed income. Last year ANZ also made two mandate changes, appointing Nikko Asset Management Australia to manage half of the bank’s Australian equities portfolio and Resolution Capital for offshore listed property.
Nikko and Resolution replaced Arnhem Investment Management and Clarion Capital, respectively.
The ANZ fund division, headed by chief investment officer Paul Huxford, manages local assets and some Australian equities in-house with a core investment team of 10.
Early this year, ANZ promoted Maaike Van Tol and Alan Clarke to jointly run the bank’s diversified investment portfolio following the departure of incumbent Stuart Millar, who took up the chief investment officer role at the NZX-owned Smartshares.