First Sentier Investors has opened up its long-established global listed infrastructure fund to the NZ retail market with the launch of a new regulated product last week.
The Australian-headquartered manager, previously known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM), has offered the listed infrastructure strategy in the NZ institutional market in various forms for many years.
In 2018 the-then Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) owned funds management giant struck a deal with Wellington-based Implemented Investment Solutions (IIS) to create a wholesale portfolio investment entity (PIE) version for distribution in NZ to institutions.
IIS also provides fund-hosting duties for the new retail product that First Sentier head of global listed infrastructure, Peter Meany, said would tap into growing investor demand for exposure to international real assets.
Leading global investment manager, First Sentier Investors, today announced the successful launch of the regulated First Sentier Global Listed Infrastructure Fund (the Fund) in New Zealand.
The Fund, which has been available to NZ-based institutional investors for the past few years, will appeal to wholesale and retail investors seeking medium-to long-term capital growth and income from a directly held globally diversified portfolio of infrastructure securities.
“Following a year of unprecedented volatility in markets, investors are looking for ways to de-risk their portfolios,” Meany said in a release. “Exposure to real assets such as infrastructure can help achieve this goal, with the listed nature of the portfolio providing liquidity and price transparency.”
According to the statement, the First Sentier listed infrastructure strategy is based on “active, bottom-up security selection” as well as embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment principles.
“The Fund takes a responsible approach to investing in companies that are driving positive structural change – from decarbonising the electricity grid, to reducing urban transport congestion, to building the next generation of digital connectivity,” Meany said.
Carrying an annual management fee of 1.01 per cent, the First Sentier fund aims to “outperform the FTSE Global Core Infrastructure 50-50 Net Total Return Index (NZD hedged)” after fees and expenses but before tax on a rolling three-year timeframe.
Since inception in 2007, the underlying Australian-based wholesale First Sentier Global Listed Infrastructure fund returned an annualised 8.8 per cent to the end of March this year against the benchmark 6.5 per cent, the latest product update show: over the 12 months to March 31 the fund was up more than 23 per cent, or 1.5 per cent above the target index.
IIS, which recently signed up Colchester Global Investors its 10th fund host client, has appointed BNP Paribas as custodian and administrator of the new First Sentier product with Public Trust as supervisor and MMC for registry.
Japanese firm Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation bought CFSGAM in August 2019 for over A$4 billion, rebranding the now almost A$230 billion manager as First Sentier last September.
Global listed infrastructure – often touted as providing steady income, capital growth and a measure of inflation protection – has gained acceptance as separate asset class in its own right with other Australian managers including Magellan and Maple-Brown Abbott offering strategies in the NZ market.
IIS subsidiary, InvestNow, also added two new products to the menu last week, available through the direct-to-consumer platform and KiwiSaver scheme: the global equities Pathfinder Ethical Growth Fund and, the diversified Harbour Asset Management Active Growth Fund.
InvestNow launched the KiwiSaver scheme last October, offering members a wide choice of underlying sector and diversified funds.