Westpac has rationalised the domestic fixed income portfolio for its ‘Active Series’ funds, handing sister firm BTNZ full control of the mandate formerly split with Harbour Asset Management.
The change will see approximately $180 million shift from Harbour to BTNZ, which manages about $3 billion in cash and NZ bonds.
Matthew Goldsack, BTNZ head of investment strategy, said the mandate switch brings the Active Series and Westpac KiwiSaver funds into alignment across local fixed income assets.
“The rationale being existing strong internal capabilities within this asset class and better efficiencies generated by consolidating the strategies,” Goldsack said. “We believe the changes will lead to stronger investment outcomes for our Active series trusts.”
Post the Harbour move, the Westpac Active and KiwiSaver underlying managers are almost identical with NZ equities the single exception. The Active funds allocate to Devon Funds, Harbour and Salt Funds Management for local shares while the Westpac KiwiSaver scheme only uses the latter two managers.
The bank has about $13 billion in funds under management, of which about half comes through the Westpac KiwiSaver.
Also last week, the NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) revealed it has wound up three private equity mandates over the last year with a total value of about $100 million. According to the NZS website, it has exited the $35 million Hancock Natural Resources timber investment after a 14-year holding period. As well, the almost $44 billion fund closed one of its three US life settlement mandates managed by Apollo Global, valued at $70 million while drawing down the remaining $1 million it held in the Sveafastigheter Fund III, which invests in Finnish and Swedish real estate.
Last year the NZS also swapped out a $315 million merger-arbitrage mandate, appointing Neuberger Berman in place of incumbent, Ramius.
The only NZS mandate awarded this year was a US$115 million investment in North American data centres along with specialist firm, CIM Group.
However, NZS is primed to increase its allocation to equity factors shortly either through existing managers or new mandates.
According to the 2018 NZS annual report, its current factor portfolios managed by AQR and Northern Trust were valued at $918 million and $770 million, respectively, as at March 31 last year.
The NZS 2019 annual report is due out in October.