Fisher Funds Management has begun the search for a new chief after the firm’s eponymous founder, Carmel Fisher, confirmed last week she would step down from the role.
In a letter to investors, Fisher says it she will retire as managing director of the almost $7 billion funds management business “some time in 2017”.
“To be clear, Fisher Funds is still my ‘baby’ and a vitally important part of my life, but after 18 years I am ready to relinquish my five days a week role (which often becomes seven days a week!) to allow me time to focus on my family and philanthropic interests,” she says in the letter. ” I will remain a significant shareholder and Director of Fisher Funds, and will continue to be interested and involved in the business – try stopping me! It just won’t be in a full-time capacity.”
Fisher, with husband Hugh Fisher, owns 22 per cent of the business – second only to TSB Bank, which controls almost 49 per cent of the company stock. TSB bought an initial 26 per cent stake in Fisher for almost $33 million in 2013 before topping up its holdings to the current level last year.
In her letter to investors, Fisher says the group has “begun a search for my successor”.
“… and, because we are pretty particular about the sort of person we want to lead our team and look after you, the process may take some months,” the letter says.
As well as managing two KiwiSaver schemes, Fisher Funds also offers a range of retail funds and three listed investment entities. The group also has an institutional investment arm inherited as part of its 2013 purchase of Tower Investments.
According to the latest annual report, Fisher Funds recorded a net profit after tax of almost $25 million over the 12 months to March 31, 2016.
Carmel Fisher was not available for comment prior to press-time.
In other industry recruitment news, it is understood former ANZ Investments portfolio manager, Daria Murray, has resurfaced in an asset management role for NZ dairy giant, Fonterra. Murray spent about a year at ANZ after a five-month turn as portfolio manager NZ shares for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in 2015. She relocated to NZ from the UK to take up the NZ Super job in February last year.
Fonterra had not replied to a media query before deadline.