Milford Asset Management continued its climb up the KiwiSaver rankings with a growth-rate almost four-times the average during the March quarter.
New figures from Australian researcher Plan for Life (PFL) show the Milford scheme jumped 13.6 per cent over the three months to March 31 compared to the mean growth-rate of just 3.5 per cent.
Only Simplicity came close to the Milford result as the mostly passive-style scheme clocked-up quarterly growth of 9.9 per cent to arrive at March 31 with almost $1.7 billion funds under management (FUM). Milford KiwiSaver reported FUM of over $3.3 billion at the same date, seeing the scheme almost half the gap between it and the seventh-largest provider, BNZ, during the period.
Elsewhere, Generate and Booster – two locally owned KiwiSaver providers that compete for flows in the independent financial adviser market – remained neck-and-neck, recording quarterly growth figures of 6 and 6.3 per cent, respectively.
Booster, set to receive a default top-up later this year, retains a slight FUM edge over Generate, finishing the period at $2.8 billion against $2.7 billion for the latter.
Of the five largest providers only Fisher Funds managed above-average growth in the March quarter with FUM increasing 4.1 per cent to hit over $6.7 billion.
Nonetheless, ANZ – the biggest KiwiSaver provider – turned in a solid three-month growth-rate, up 2.1 per cent to end just $54 million shy of the $18 billion mark.
The $13.6 billion ASB scheme grew 1.9 per cent during the quarter while third-placed Westpac (almost $8.7 billion) lagged a little on 1.5 per cent.
While ANZ and ASB will both shed FUM under the default regime change in December, the shake-up won’t threaten the status of the two bank providers atop the PFL KiwiSaver tables.
Rough estimates suggest the five fired default providers could lose perhaps $500 million to $600 million apiece come December 1 – although results will vary across schemes. Aside from the two big bank providers, Fisher, Mercer and AMP will also lose any residual ‘non-active’ default members later this year.
Based on the PFL March 31 figures, Fisher should just about keep its fourth-placed ranking, however, the almost $5.8 billion Kiwi Wealth (one of the beneficiaries of the default rejig) could pip the Takapuna-based provider following the changeover.
Kiwi Wealth should certainly leapfrog AMP ($6.5 billion) once the default money is redistributed among the five winning providers into fifth place: as per long-running trends, AMP recorded the lowest quarterly growth-rate (1.3 per cent) of all named providers in the PFL report.
The default handover could also see Simplicity on equal terms with the 11th-largest scheme, Mercer ($2.5 billion plus), assuming growth-rates stay in line with the latest PFL figures.
BNZ (up 3.4 per cent to over $3.6 billion) should also solidify the seventh-place ranking after absorbing its share of the reallocated default money later this year.
Outside the top 12 providers, the PFL numbers show healthy growth in aggregate among the 20 or so ‘other’ anonymous KiwiSaver schemes.
According to the report, the ‘others’ saw collective growth of 8.6 per cent in the March quarter to reach a total $5.8 billion plus by the end of the period: however, most of the growth is likely dominated by a handful of players.
Overall, KiwiSaver FUM was up 3.5 per cent in the quarter to more than $81.8 billion with the growth comprised of $1.6 billion in net flows and $1.2 billion of investment returns (including a smattering of transfers-in from Australian superannuation and other schemes).
The Melbourne-based PFL, headed by Rael Solomon, is owned by global proxy voting firm Institutional Shareholder Services.