Alvarium Wealth will manage over $500 million following a corporate makeover last week that brings all Pathfinder funds and assets of the former NZAM group under a single umbrella.
The deal will see Pathfinder folded into Alvarium Wealth, a joint venture between UK private investment firm Alvarium (previously known as LJ Partnership) and NZ investors Ben Gough (through family office arm Tailorspace) and Brett Gamble.
Pathfinder founders John Berry and Paul Brownsey have assumed the respective roles of chief executive and chief investment officer at Alvarium Wealth as well as taking a 30 per cent stake in the combined entity.
The $25 billion global Alvarium business, co-founded by Andrew Williams, first established a foothold in NZ after buying half of absolute return manager NZAM in 2017. Williams is now based in Auckland.
Early in 2019, Alvarium doubled down in NZ, acquiring 51 per cent of Pathfinder, which had recently refocused on a sustainable investment approach. Alvarium bought the remaining 49 per cent of Pathfinder as part of the restructure.
Under the new structure, the Alvarium Wealth managed funds will operate as per the Pathfinder philosophy, resulting in the closure or restructure of some former NZAM products (such as the alternative fixed income fund that uses the Australian Kapstream as underlying manager). Alavarium will reform the ex-NZAM ‘enhanced balanced fund’ while also launching a new wholesale ‘sustainable income fund’, according to Brownsey.
At one time NZAM managed well over $1 billion in absolute return-targeted multi-manager funds. But in the Alvarium managed funds suite, at least, the NZAM hedge fund flavours have been removed.
Nonetheless, former NZAM managers, Simon Tompkins and Alan McChesney, remain on the Alavarium Wealth team, the group’s website shows. James Caughey, previously NZAM head of manager research, also stays in the Alvarium Wealth business.
In addition to managed funds, Alavarium offers a discretionary investment management service (DIMS) and other bespoke strategies that access the private asset capabilities of the global group.
More recently, Alvarium boosted its NZ team with two hires from mainstream banks. Former BNZ private bank specialists, Kevin McLean and Nish Vyas joined within the last year or so as Alvarium private wealth directors.
And this week, too, Pathfinder will rebrand its KiwiSaver scheme, launched under the CareSaver brand in July 2019. In a note to investors sent last week, Berry says from today (Monday March 22), “CareSaver KiwiSaver will become Pathfinder KiwiSaver”.
“While we decided to launch KiwiSaver under a new brand (CareSaver) it has made admin harder for us and the CareSaver / Pathfinder distinction has confused some of our investors,” he says. “… At our end it is exactly the same team, same investment process, and the same commitment from us.”
Since inception, the Pathfinder KiwiSaver scheme has grown to over $70 million invested in sustainable strategies on behalf of 2,300 members.
Established in 2009, Pathfinder developed a fund suite covering a range of asset classes – including specialist water and commodities products – before adopting an overarching sustainable investment strategy in 2017.
In a release last week, Berry said the revised Alvarium structure would “build on this momentum”.
“The combined New Zealand business offers investors unique access to a global network of investment opportunities, enhanced access to global listed markets, and local and global investment expertise,” he said in the statement. “We know we have an investment edge and we plan to grow in both wholesale and retail markets.”
Alvarium is Latin for ‘beehive’.