Mint, Pie, Salt and, the less-edible, Milford will compete for the top equity fund manager prize at the glitzy INIFINZ Awards to be held in Auckland next month.
INFINZ published the funds management quartet of finalists last Friday among the dozen categories set to be decided at the awards ceremony on May 19 at Auckland’s Langham Hotel.
As well as the equities fund manager of the year award, sponsored by legal firm Chapman Tripp, a trio of NZ bond managers will also be up for a gong on the night.
Fixed income heavyweights AMP Capital, ANZ Investments and Fisher Funds will fight it out for the Massey University College of Business bond manager of the year, INFINZ revealed.
Last year Devon Funds Management took out the top equities award at INFINZ while AMP Capital won the fixed income category.
The previous 12 months have been eventful for all the equity fund finalists: Mint secured a hefty mandate from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund; Salt took over local equities duties for almost $700 million of AMP Capital’s money; Australian small-cap specialist Pie Funds closed, and briefly re-opened, a fund or two while breaching the $250 million mark, and; Milford fought a high-profile battle with the regulator (eventually losing its $281 million NZ Super mandate as a result) while still growing funds under management and sustaining performance.
According to INFINZ, the fund manager awards are decided “through an initial quantitative analysis of past performance undertaken by Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW) and then shortlisted managers will be interviewed with respect to qualitative criteria”.
The latest MJW investment survey puts Milford and Mint at numbers one and two respectively in the five-year performance charts ending March 31 this year. (Conversely, over the first quarter of 2016 Mint and Milford haunt the bottom two spots in the MJW survey.)
Meanwhile, the two Salt Australasian share funds reported by MJW achieved mixed results over the periods, however, the group’s Dividend Share fund was number one in the three years to March 31 and second-placed over the quarter.
The Pie Funds Australasian Growth Fund sits in a different MJW sector (and works to a different benchmark) but on a gross performance basis its three-year performance numbers would see it ranked third on the main manager list, near the bottom over the 12-month period and worst-performer by far in the March quarter.
It should be noted the INFINZ Awards would have screened finalists using earlier MJW performance figures.
The INFINZ Awards span a range of financial services activities range from treasury operations, securities research, debt deals and stockbroking with some cross-pollination between finalists and sponsors.
For example, both Craigs Investment Partners and First NZ Capital sponsor awards while also competing as finalists in the sharebroker of the year category, which is itself sponsored by Milford.