A former Australian financial adviser has established a new third-party fund distribution business in NZ targeting the sustainable investment market.
Klein said Zanoma would kick off the NZ venture with the Nanuk New World Fund and three Artesian products – the Green and Sustainable Bond Fund, the Women Economic Empowerment Bond Fund and Corporate Bond Fund.
“We’re also in negotiation with an Australasian equities manager,” he said.
According to Klein, the sustainable fund market in NZ was hitting critical mass with investors – both retail and wholesale – now expecting options beyond simple exclusionary strategies.
“There’s a growing group of investors in NZ who want more than just to avoid harm and are looking for funds that help create a ‘better world’,” he said.
But while the investment market has risen to the demand with a flurry of products labeled responsible, sustainable or environmental, social and governance (ESG), Klein said those without institutional-level research resources can struggle to distinguish between the ‘green-washed’ and the genuine.
“We’re focused on accessing good-quality sustainable investment products from reputable offshore managers and bringing them to the NZ community,” he said.
Zanoma will use the marketing administration platform developed by Heathcote Investment Partners. Heathcote, headed by Clayton Coplestone, also retains a 35 per cent equity interest in the new firm.
In a release, Coplestone said Heathcote had been talking with Klein for several years about the prospects for a sustainable investment distribution business in NZ.
“Tony is well known to us, and we can see that there is a growing interest across all aspects of the industry for quality focused sustainable investment capabilities,” he said. “We are excited to provide Zanoma Investment Partners with an operational platform in exchange for a passive shareholding in their future”.
Zanoma also marks a return to the financial services industry for Klein after a 16-year hiatus. He previously worked as a financial adviser in Australia for the big-brand MLC, both before and after it was purchased by the National Australia Bank.
But on emigrating to Auckland with his NZ-born wife, Klein took a career diversion into education, eventually rising to deputy principal of Westlake Girls High School in Takapuna.
While the educational work was rewarding, Klein said he was looking for a way to re-enter financial services with a bent to sustainable investment.
“Many New Zealanders now want their investments to have a sustainable flavour,” he said. “Our aim is to provide pragmatic solutions for those investors who like that flavour.”