Milford Asset Management has embarked on a global search to replace departing head, Anthony Quirk.
After nine years in the role, Quirk, quit as Milford managing director last week pending the appointment of a replacement.
In a statement, Quirk said he would remain as non-executive director with Milford as well as retaining a large equity stake in the $3.3 billion plus funds management group.
According to the latest Companies Office documents, Quirk owns just over 11 per cent of Milford Asset Management.
“We have excellent momentum in the business, with an exciting strategic roadmap to guide the business forward for the next five years,” he said in a statement. “We have also completed the implementation of some key process improvement platforms, in particular the internationally recognised Charles River Portfolio Management system, so the business could not be better positioned.”
However, over the last year Quirk has presided over a difficult patch for the high-profile boutique manager after it was stung by a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) investigation into alleged market manipulation charges early in 2015.
Despite losing a number of wholesale clients post the FMA investigation – including a roughly $280 million mandate with the NZ Super Fund still officially listed as “suspended” – Milford has continued to grow in the retail, KiwiSaver and high net worth markets.
Milford entered into a “full and final” settlement with the FMA last June after copping a $1.5 million fine and agreeing to implement a number of governance changes.
Suspended Milford portfolio manager, Mark Warminger, is due in court this September to face market manipulation charges brought by the FMA.
The statement says after leaving the managing director role Quirk would “pursue a portfolio of other interests” as well as retaining his Milford board position.
“My main focus for now is for a smooth transition and of course I have a real commitment after my MD role on the Milford board and some of its sub-committees such as the audit and risk, and investment committees,” he told Investment News NZ.
“I also have some personal interests I wish to develop and my plan is to give back with some charitable and community aspects and a selective director role or two over time.”
Prior to joining Milford in 2007, Quirk had a seven-year stint as head of Tyndall Investment Management NZ (now Nikko Asset Management). He was also previously head of funds management for ANZ in New Zealand.