ASB has joined AMP in the BlackRock camp, appointing the world’s largest fund manager to oversee its $20 billion investment book, including the $13.5 billion KiwiSaver scheme.
This week AMP began to transition its home-branded diversified funds, worth an estimated $10 billion to BlackRock.
In a statement this morning, ASB wealth head, Adam Boyd, said: “This expansive partnership insources BlackRock as our chief investment and portfolio management function, encompassing active and index manager research across asset classes, for all ASB wealth offerings.
“Our intent is to build on the solid history of performance across our funds and deliver even better investment outcomes for customers. The BlackRock Multi-Asset team that will manage our investments has a very strong track record.”
However, ASB will continue to use other external managers with BlackRock in charge of “asset allocation and currency decisions across all funds, including ASB Portfolio Series”.
“This work has previously been managed in-house, with the support of external advisors,” the ASB release says. The bank has used Mercer previously for investment advice.
“Individual asset classes, for example Australasian equities or international bonds, will continue to be managed by a number of local and international investment firms, overseen by ASB in collaboration with BlackRock,” Boyd said.
“We have invested in world-class expertise to manage our asset allocation and currency decisions as we see these as the most significant driver of fund performance.”
Last month ASB appointed State Street as Australasian equities index manager, replacing Vanguard.
Rachel Lord, BlackRock head of Asia Pacific said in the statement that “the partnership with ASB is unique in the region in that it encompasses the entire investment platform”.
“We are excited to bring the full breadth of our global investment expertise as well as our end-to-end investment and technology platform to ASB,” Lord said.
ASB began a search for a new investment solution in 2019. Parent bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has largely exited wealth management over that period.