Auckland-based boutique manager, Devon Funds, has shaken up its investment team following the exit of long-time portfolio manager, Nick Dravitzki, last week.
Devon managing director, Slade Robertson, said the firm’s chief investment officer, Mark Brown, had assumed Dravitzki’s portfolio management duties on the Dividend Yield Fund.
Robertson took over from Brown as portfolio manager of the Devon Alpha Fund in April, marking a return to the role he relinquished in 2016.
The $2 billion plus fund manager has also hired a new analyst with another under consideration, Robertson said in a statement.
“This is an exciting time for Devon as we look to reshape the structure of our investment team. After my return into the investment room we have taken the opportunity to fully review all roles, and changes have occurred,” he said. “Nick has been a strong member of our team for many years and we wish him well with his future endeavours. We are also very excited to be growing the research capabilities within our group and believe this will further support the deep fundamental process that we implement.”
Dravitzki joined Devon when the manager launched in 2010 after a five-year stint as an equity analyst for NZ Funds. He will shift to Wellington as a portfolio manager for the $45 billion plus Accident Compensation Corporation fund.
Meanwhile, Select Wealth – part of the Investment Services Group that also include Devon – has shifted its head of operations, Debbie Tuddenham, to the newly-created role.
Tuddenham has assumed the new position as head of Select Wealth, the group said in release last week.
Andrew Kelleher, Select Wealth director, said in a release that she would be charged with building the business’ profile among financial advisers and the wider investment market.
“Her detailed knowledge of our business makes her a natural fit for this role,” Kellerher said.
In another surprise move last week, Simplicity head of communications, Amanda Morrall, jumped ship to a rival ‘ethical’ KiwiSaver scheme.
Morrall, a former journalist who was instrumental in building the Simplicity brand, has accepted the new role as head of client engagement for the Pathfinder KiwSaver scheme, CareSaver.
As well as growing the CareSaver brand, she will support both the wider Pathfinder business and its part-owner, Alvarium Wealth. Alvarium, a joint venture between a UK private equity firm and Christchurch-based investment concern Tailorspace, took a 51 per cent stake in Pathfinder last year after buying a similar slice of Auckland hedge fund-of-funds NZAM in 2018.
John Berry, Pathfinder CEO, said Morrall would “help drive our growth by taking this [ethical] message to a broader audience and by helping build literacy of ethical finance, including the role environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors play in driving superior long-term investment returns”.
He said Pathfinder now had the equivalent of nine full-time employees.
Morrall said in a release: “After almost four years at Simplicity, I am looking forward to the new challenge with CareSaver and Pathfinder with an exclusive focus on ethical investments and impact investing.”
She joins the group just as CareSaver cracked through the 1,000-member mark – a milestone achieved a little under a year since the scheme launched.
Simplicity, meanwhile, is closing in on $2 billion under management held on behalf of about 40,000 members.
The A$200 billion AMP Capital will have a new chief executive come July after incumbent, Adam Tindall, resigned. In a release last Friday, the funds management arm of the ASX-listed AMP named current global head of infrastructure equity, Boe Pahari, as the new chief effective July 1 this year.
Based in Sydney, Tindall has led AMP Capital since October 2015 after first joining the manager’s property investment arm in 2009. AMP Capital has added A$43 billion to funds under management under Tindall’s leadership, the release says.
CEO in-waiting, Pahari, will also continue to “oversee” the group’s infrastructure equity business, which boasts some A$23 billion under management.
Francesco De Ferrari, AMP chief, said in a statement: “As incoming CEO, Boe’s mandate will be to continue to grow the business, capitalising on its strengths and the opportunities in infrastructure and real assets.”
AMP Capital is the second-largest diversified funds management group in NZ with over $20 billion of assets.
Tindall would “work with Mr Pahari through a transition period to ensure an orderly handover”, the release says.
Also in Australia last week, Maple-Brown Abbott (MBA) boosted its listed infrastructure team with two new hires. The manager, which has a sizable listed infrastructure mandate with ANZ Investments in NZ, named Georgia Hall as its first ESG analyst. In June, the wider MBA business named Emma Pringle as head of ESG in a maternity leave cover for Natasha McKean.
Hall comes to MBA from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia after a decade in the financial services industry that included gigs at AMP Capital, Ironbark Asset Management, Wellington Management, and Schroders.
MBA also appointed former Allan Gray Australia investment analyst, Gitendra Pradhananga, as senior research associate for the listed infrastructure team.
Lachlan Pike, MBA listed infrastructure co-founder, left the business in April.
Troubled Australasian fund administration business, Sargon, restocked some key executive and board positions last week while also attempting a fresh start with a new name.
To be known as Certes (pending legal approvals), Sargon has named Marcus Price as replacement for former chief, Phillip Kingston, who left earlier this year when the firm he co-founded collapsed into administration.
Price, previously head of Australian digital property sales platform PEXA, also served as adviser to Pacific Infrastructure Partners (PIP) – the private equity vehicle that bought Sargon for about A$30 million last month. PIP is owned by two former Sargon directors, Teddy Wasserman and Matthew Kibble.
Furthermore, Sargon has lured an ex Australian Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, to join the board as chair. Tanner will serve alongside independent director, Sue Thomas, as well as the PIP duo on the board.
“With a new board, executive team, and strengthened balance sheet, we will be a responsible and trusted partner and service provider,” Wasserman said in a statement.
The rump Sargon business – which remains embroiled in several legal suits – claims about A$50 billion in funds under administration.
Last week the Sargon NZ division revealed it was preparing for liquidation with the loss of its supervisor licence likely.
Finally, the Pie Funds-owned magazine, Juno, has been sold to national property investment advisory group, Opes Partners. Opes helps source residential investment property deals while offering coaching and educational services.
Pie revealed it would close, or offload the Juno publication in June along with a round of staff cuts. The quarterly Juno magazine was valued at $35,000 in Pie accounts.
Ed McKnight, Opes economist, said the two Juno staff, including editor Brenda Ward, would remain in place under the new ownership.
McKnight said Opes was committed to retaining the diversified Juno content, albeit with a stronger bent to property.
He said the magazine had a print run of about 12,000 copies distributed mainly through the Pie Funds-owned Juno KiwiSaver scheme members, a distribution deal with PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as supermarkets.
“We’ll be keeping the distribution relationship with Pie and hopefully PwC,” McKnight said.
In a release, Pie chief, Mike Taylor, said: “Publishing isn’t our core business, so I’m excited that we’ve found someone else who is passionate about taking that vision over.
“We’re very keen to have an on-going relationship with Opes, simply because we like the publication and want to see our clients continue to receive it.”