Fisher Funds has moved significantly closer to claiming the title of fourth-largest KiwiSaver provider from AMP during the nine months to September 30 – just by staying still.
According to the latest Morningstar report on the sector, Fisher saw its KiwiSaver market share dip just 0.1 per cent over the nine-month period ending September at 8.5 per cent, or a tad over $6 billion in funds under management (FUM).
Over the same time, however, AMP lost 0.6 per cent market share (to close at 8.6 per cent), reporting more than $6.1 billion in FUM as at September 30. The Morningstar data shows Fisher has progressively narrowed the gap between AMP since the end of 2017 when their respective market share numbers stood at 8.9 per cent and 11.2 per cent – equating to about $4 billion and $5 billion, respectively.
In fact, bar BNZ and Booster, all of the default providers have lost ground to rivals during the almost three-year period with ANZ suffering the largest relative decline, slipping from 25.6 per cent market share at the end of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the latest count.
However, ANZ remains well ahead of second-largest provider, ASB, which reported FUM of more than $12.5 billion on September 30.
The entrance of the Smartshares into the Morningstar table also shook up the rankings with several providers moving down a notch to accommodate the $1 billion plus NZX-owned scheme (more properly known as SuperLife in the KiwiSaver universe).
Both Milford and Generate moved one-up the scale to eighth and 10th respectively over the nine-month period, by turn replacing Mercer and Booster in those rankings.
Among the newcomers, the Pie Funds-owned Juno and the Pathfinder-backed CareSaver also reported solid growth in the calendar year to date. Juno more than doubled its FUM, rising from $110 million at the end of 2019 to over $230 million nine months later; CareSaver, meanwhile, almost quadrupled to hit close to $41 million on September 30 compared to about $11 million at the end of 2019.
The two junior KiwiSaver schemes also featured among the top-performers in multi-sector fund categories (conservative, balanced, growth etc) over the quarterly and 12-month periods, according to Morningstar.
Tim Murphy, Morningstar director manager research Asia-Pacific, said in the report: “Over the September quarter all Multisector KiwiSaver funds produced positive returns. Funds with a large exposure to small and mid-cap NZ stocks are likely to have performed particularly well. The Average multisector category returns ranged from 1.9% for the Conservative category to 5.3% for the Aggressive category.”
Last week Juno revealed a change to its complex tiered pricing model that will see most previously fee-free members (less than $5,000 account balance and under-18s) facing charges from December this year: only under-13s remain free. While the price scale rises across most other tiers, post the increases more than half of the scheme members would be paying less than $100 a year in total, a Juno spokesperson said.
The fee increases reflect economic crunch-time for Juno, which has seen costs – as well as planned future spending – outrun operating revenue. In a further nod to reality, Juno was also the first to formally fold its hand in the default KiwiSaver scheme appointment game.
The Juno spokesperson said while its fees would be “very competitive” the scheme did not “have a long KiwiSaver track record and none at scale”.
“We fully understand the Government’s need to manage the financial and political risk of a provider struggling – or failing – to manage a potentially large number of new default members,” the spokesperson said. “We are growing rapidly, especially in the past 12 months, and will continue to build the scale and the infrastructure to support it. But we need to manage the cost and disruption of that, to a timeline better aligned with the interests of our shareholders, investors and staff.”