Devon Funds Management will reshuffle its top-level ranks next year following the resignation of a long-time senior executive.
The change will see portfolio manager Slade Robertson assume the managing director role to be vacated by incumbent Mel Firmin next April.
Paul Glass, Devon founder and executive chairman, said Firmin was “looking for a change” after a 25-year career in the NZ funds management industry.
“But Mel will remain as a director and shareholder in the business,” Glass said. “Slade is also keen to take on a new challenge after two decades managing Australian and NZ share portfolios.”
He said Devon would probably look to recruit a couple of analysts over the next few months rather than a fully-fledged portfolio manager to replace Robertson.
“We have three senior portfolio managers [excluding Robertson] specialising in NZ and Australian shares – which is quite unusual in the NZ industry,” Glass said.
As well as Robertson, the $2 billion plus Devon counts Chris Gaskin, Tama Willis and Nick Dravitzki as portfolio managers.
Firmin, along with Robertson and Gaskin, joined Devon in 2010 from Glass’ former shop, the-then Macquarie-owned Brook Asset Management. Macquarie closed down Brook in 2014. He also has a long association with Glass dating back to back to pioneering NZ multi-manager firm, Arcus Investment Management (subsequently, bought by Axa and then absorbed into AMP after the 2011 merger of the two businesses).
Meanwhile, Glass has taken a 33 per cent stake in asset consulting and portfolio management business, JMIS, via a family-owned vehicle, Investment Hub Trustees.
The deal saw Investment Hub Trustees pick up the JMIS equity formerly held by co-founder, Ross Jewell.
“Ross is in the slow process of retiring,” Glass said. “But he will stay on as a director and operating in the JMIS business for a while still.”
He said the JMIS deal – a personal investment not associated with Devon Funds – reflected his interest in the wider NZ wealth management industry.
“I regard myself as a long-term investor in the NZ wealth management space,” Glass said. “I’ve known Ross and the JMIS team for a long time too and it made sense for both parties. I won’t be a JMIS director or involved in the day-to-day operations – I am just an investor.”
He said JMIS, which recently secured control of the former ASB-owned Sovereign ‘Select’ discretionary investment management service, was a “solid business, growing quietly under the radar”.
JMIS has about $2 billion under management or administration including more than $600 million on the Select platform.