New Zealand’s most eligible funds management firms should find out this week if they’ve made the short-list for one of the biggest local equities mandate ever.
Industry sources said AMP Capital is farming out about $350 million of NZ equities previously managed by its now-departed in-house team. It is understood the request for proposal (RFP) attracted interest from most local managers with the short-listed nominees expected to be notified later this week.
As well as picking up single manager active NZ shares mandates, the as-yet unnamed new firm will also replace AMP Capital on the group’s local equities multi-manager menu (used by AMP KiwiSaver), which currently includes Devon Funds Management and Harbour Asset Management.
Other contenders may include Nikko Asset Management (formerly Tyndall), which manages about $350 million of NZ equities, and the $700 million Salt Funds Management, run by the ex Westpac/BT NZ local equities team.
AMP said last month the transition to the new manager should be complete by March 31, this year.
Just prior to the dissolution of its in-house local shares team, headed by Guy Eliffe, AMP Capital managed about $1 billion of NZ equities, including a $260 million mandate with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS), which was cancelled last November.
On December 19 last year, AMP Capital said it would exit direct NZ equities management, prompting many of its wholesale clients to review their strategies.
As at December 1 last year, AMP Capital reported collective funds under management of about $670 million in its three main NZ equity products: the NZ Shares Fund; the Strategic NZ Shares Fund, and; the Responsible Investment Leaders NZ Shares Fund.
Meanwhile, NZS is taking its time on selecting a replacement manager for the $260 million former AMP Capital NZ shares mandate. Despite the delay, an NZS spokesperson said a “genuine” search process was underway.
“However, we will only make an appointment if we are satisfied we have found a provider who can meet our rigorous standards and requirements as a leading institutional investor,” the spokesperson said.
In the interim, NZS’ in-house local equities team, which already manages about $300 million, has taken over day-to-day responsibility for the ex AMP mandate.
The NZS said it could “not provide further detail about the approach we are taking to managing the former AMP mandate internally – this is potentially market-sensitive”.