Ex-head of ANZ Investments Australasian equities, Mark Brown, has formally stepped into the newly-created role of chief investment officer at Auckland-based boutique Devon Funds Management in a deal first announced five months ago.
Brown, who finished his long ANZ career at the end of October last year, assumed his official duties at the $2 billion plus Devon early this month.
“Mark will have specific responsibility for Devon’s New Zealand-only equity funds, and will assist portfolio manager Chris Gaskin with management of the Devon Core portfolios,” Devon said in a statement last year.
Following Brown’s arrival, Slade Robertson, relinquished his role as chair of the group’s investment committee but continues as managing director – a position the former portfolio manager ascended to in November 2016.
Despite launching a recruitment drive last August, it is understood ANZ – the country’s largest non-government fund manager – has yet to find a replacement for Brown with any new appointment likely to be some way off.
At the time ANZ said in a statement: “The Australasian Head of Equities position is an important role, so we will be running an external and internal search for a high calibre candidate to lead the team with immediate effect.”
In the interim, ANZ equities portfolio manager, Craig Brown (no relation), has assumed Brown’s responsibilities.
As well as running the group’s NZ equities, Brown (Craig) “was also appointed as portfolio manager for the ANZ Wholesale Australasian Share Fund” last August, according to the ANZ Investments website.
Meanwhile, the approximately $500 million small-cap specialist Pie Funds has hired former head of Hastings-based IMS Payroll (a MYOB subsidiary), Doug Jopling, as co-portfolio manager specialising in Australasian unlisted investments.
Originally from the UK, Jopling, has held a number of senior finance roles including with NZ agricultural co-operative, Farmlands, Virgin Active Gyms, Ikea Australia, and KPMG (Australia and UK).
Jopling is scheduled to start in Pie’s Havelock North office next month.
Launched in 2007, Pie Funds, headed by Mike Taylor, now offers nine products including latest addition the Multi-Strategy Fund.
Opened last November, the Pie Multi-Strategy product has a “bias towards equities which may include short selling, the fund will seek investments that help grow and protect capital”, according to statements on the Disclose website.
“To assist in achieving our investment objective, investments may include, but are not limited to, equities long/short, fixed interest, cash (multi-currency), unlisted investments, property, ETFs and derivatives such as Contracts for Difference (CFDs), equity options and futures,” the Multi-Strategy Fund disclosure document says.