BNZ was the only retail fund manager to come through the March quarter with positive numbers, the latest Plan for Life (PFL) NZ market survey shows.
According to the PFL quarterly review of NZ retail funds, BNZ recorded 0.4 per cent growth in the three months ending March 31 – over 6 per cent ahead of next-best manager, Kiwi Wealth.
Kiwi Wealth retail funds under management (FUM) fell 5.9 per cent in a March quarter where the average decline hit just under 8 per cent.
As per recent history, AMP was bottom of the table with -9.5 per cent FUM shrinkage over the three-month period, although Milford Asset Management – usually up among the high-growth elite – was not far behind on -9.2 per cent.
However, Milford reported the second-highest growth-rate of 21.6 per cent over the 12 months to March 31 while AMP (-6.1 per cent) remained anchored to the floor over the same period.
The PFL report puts the $2.8 billion BNZ ahead for the 12-month stretch with annual growth of 27.5 per cent with only Booster (12.6 per cent) joining the bank and Milford in double-figure territory among the top 10 managers.
But the unnamed ‘others’, a bunch that includes the fast-growing Simplicity and Generate, saw FUM increase of 10.2 per cent over the 12 months against the market average of 3.7 per cent. Over the March quarter the ‘others’, however, collectively recorded the worst growth of -10.6 per cent versus the average -7.9 per cent.
Despite the quarter shake-up, which included the almost 30 per cent plunge in global share markets (bottoming out on March 23), NZ retail manager rankings remained little-changed in the PFL table.
Quarter-on-quarter market share was more-or-less stable as the top-three bank-owned leaders held steady. ANZ saw funds drop by more than $2 billion in the three-month period to just over $27 billion but kept its 25.5 per cent share of the kitty.
The second-placed ASB ($15.7 billion at the end of March) and Westpac/BT ($12.8 billion) both clocked up slight gains in market share during the quarter.
For the 12-month period, Milford clawed out the highest gain in market share – rising 1 per cent to reach 7.1 per cent. In an almost mirror-image performance, AMP shed 1.1 per cent market share over the year, falling to 10.3 per cent by March 31.
“Overall Retail Managed Funds at the end of March totalled NZ$105.9bn, which was up 3.7% over the past year, despite dropping 7.9% during the March quarter, due to global investment markets dropping sharply with the fall initiated by the extraordinary quarantine measures enforced to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the PFL report says.
KiwiSaver was the only retail sector to grow FUM over the 12-month period, up 8.3 per cent to almost $61.8 billion, as other retail funds (-1.1 per cent) and superannuation funds (-7.9 per cent) faded over the year.
As at the end of March, other retail funds held about $37.6 billion while the super sector closed at almost $6.3 billion. Meanwhile, the forgotten ‘insurance and investment bonds’ category continued its journey to irrelevance, falling 15.5 per cent in 12 months to end at just $234 million.
About $35 billion flowed into the NZ retail managed funds sector during the 12 months to March 31, another record underwritten by KiwiSaver.
“During the latest March quarter reported Gross Inflows jumped 25.9% to NZ$10.4bn, while year on year they were up by 28.5%. Meanwhile corresponding Outflows increased even more sharply, up by a third, implying the past year was a period of higher volatility,” the PFL report says.
“Very significant annual Inflow growth was experienced by almost all participants including in particular some well over 30% increases that were reported by Milford (76.0%), Generate (58.2%), Fisher (52.5%), BNZ (49.5%), ANZ (38.0%) and Mercer (37.9%).”