Kiwi Wealth has hired a new head of advice as the government-owned group refreshes its retail investment offer.
Glen Macann, who made a brief appearance as head of the Pie Funds-owned Juno KiwiSaver scheme late in 2018, joined Kiwi Wealth last week to boost its presence in the advice market.
According to Kiwi Wealth head of product and innovation, Joe Bishop, Macann has been charged with growing the group’s advisory business across both human and digital channels.
Kiwi Wealth has about 15 authorised financial advisers (AFAs) operating under its banner as well as a robo-advice service, currently still in testing mode with some of the firm’s KiwiSaver members.
In addition to the $3 billion plus KiwiSaver scheme, Kiwi Wealth offers a discretionary investment management service (DIMS) to clients with more than $100,000 to invest. All told, Kiwi Wealth manages over $5 billion through the KiwiSaver, DIMS (Private Portfolio Service – or PPS) and nascent superannuation and retail funds suites.
“We will be refreshing the PPS – and advice is a crucial part of that,” Bishop said. “Glen will be looking at how to develop and enhance the advice proposition in the PPS and digitally in KiwiSaver.”
The Kiwi Wealth PPS and KiwiSaver scheme both trace their heritage back to the Gareth Morgan investment business, which Kiwibank bought in 2012 for about $50 million. At the time the Gareth Morgan business managed about $1.5 billion with KiwiSaver accounting for $650 million and the remainder invested through the PPS.
Kiwibank, now owned by a trio of government agencies – NZ Post, the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Commission fund – later spun out the investment business under the subsidiary Kiwi Wealth brand.
Last year Kiwi Wealth appointed BNP Paribas to tidy up its disparate investment back-office systems.
Prior to his fleeting role at Juno, Macann – a New Zealander – spent 25 years in the Australian financial services industry including stints at Vanguard, Macquarie and the-now IOOF-owned advisory group, Shadforth Financial. Before returning to NZ last year, he spent a couple of years leading the advice business of the almost $80 billion Queensland government employee super fund, Qsuper.
Bishop said Macann had wide experience with both human financial planning businesses and digital advice tools, which fitted with the Kiwi Wealth dual approach.
“We believe it’s not a binary choice between digital and human financial advice,” he said. “People will want to move between advices channels as their needs change over time.”
Macann will be based in Auckland with responsibility for leading the regionally-dispersed Kiwi Wealth AFA team.
“Our advice business has been under the radar but you can expect to see a more proactive approach this year,” Bishop said.