Mint Asset Management has restructured under a new ownership model designed to create a diversified financial services group.
In a deal inked with Auckland-based Ascentro Capital Partners last week, Mint will form part of the Amplifi Group – a new overarching company with a mandate to acquire investment and wealth management businesses.
The news comes, too, as the NZ Superannuation Fund topped up the Mint NZ equities mandate to the tune of $220 million.
Rebecca Thomas, Mint founder, said Amplifi would look for businesses across the value chain to build a “best in breed” diversified operation.
Thomas, who remains the major shareholder in Amplifi, said Mint would continue as an independent funds management business within the wider group.
“We’re not going to have a vertically integrated business,” she said.
According to a release, Amplifi has a “strategic objective of building a diversified investment and wealth management group, offering best in breed portfolio construction, and investment management, whilst ensuring that Mint and other operating companies maintain and enhance their core DNA”.
Ascentro, founded by a group of ex bankers, has completed a number of NZ private equity arrangements, including as the seed shareholder of Provincial Education Group (recently sold to Australian interests for $160 million).
But Thomas said Ascentro was a long-term investor committed to growing the Amplifi business via the limited partnership structure.
“We didn’t want to be owned by a private equity fund,” she said.
Under the deal, Thomas owns over half of 70 per cent Amplifi shares held by Mint staff with Ascentro taking up the remaining 30 per cent.
Formed in 2006, Mint was among the first of the new-breed boutiques created as the portfolio investment entity (PIE) regime started in NZ.
The firm has about $2 billion under management including a substantial NZS mandate. According to the 2021 NZS annual report, Mint managed about $540 million for the sovereign wealth fund at the end of June with a further $220 million or so added in the latest tranche.
Thomas said while Mint would continue to grow, further business expansion in NZ required a broader outlook.
In a similar move in 2010, Devon Funds helped create Investment Services Group (ISG), which bundled in a number of businesses including Select Wealth, JMI Wealth and Clarity Funds.