Mint Asset Management chief investment officer, Paul Richardson, has resigned after four years with the boutique firm that has just topped the $1 billion mark.
Rebecca Thomas, Mint chief, said Richardson was leaving to pursue long-standing interests in the agricultural sector.
“It was always in the plan that Paul would leave [in the medium term],” Thomas said. “He’s on the board of MyFarm and is looking for other opportunities to help develop companies in the primary sector.”
Following Richardson’s departure in September, current portfolio manager, Anthony Halls, would assume his duties under the head of investments title.
Thomas said as head of investments Halls would retain a hands-on portfolio management role.
“CIOs traditionally don’t run money,” she said.
Halls would take over Richardson’s responsibilities for running the Mint research program, Thomas said.
She said both Mint investment analyst, David Fyfe, and recently-appointed portfolio manager, John Middleton, would take on more senior roles as Halls stepped into the head of investments position.
The Mint shuffle-up would also see quantitative analyst, Marek Krzeczkowski, assume further responsibility for the group’s strategic and tactical asset allocation settings.
“We’re also looking to hire an investment analyst to work alongside John and David,” Thomas said.
Richardson joined Mint in 2013 – first as a director before moving into the CIO role – after a 10-year stint with BT Funds Management NZ including the last four years as CIO.
Previously, he also spent 12 years as an equities analyst with UBS in Sydney.
Richardson, a qualified geologist, was appointed chair of the NZ Corporate Governance Forum – a coalition of local institutional investors – last April.
In June he resigned as Mint director.
“We’re back to a more balanced board now with two executive and two independent directors,” Thomas said.
As well as Thomas, the Mint board includes: chief operating officer, Simon Haworth; independent chair, Mark Todd; and, independent director, Brett Sutton.
Founded in 2006, Mint recently broke through $1 billion in funds under management, of which about 70 per cent is sourced from wholesale investors.
Mint manages about $250 million in local equities on behalf of the NZ Superannuation Fund.