Auckland boutique fund manager and now KiwiSaver provider, Pathfinder, has launched a new wholesale Australasian shares fund.
The trans-Tasman equities fund represents a first play in home territory for Pathfinder, which has to date focused on global assets across its suite of six products.
Paul Brownsey, Pathfinder co-founder, said the Australasian fund was an actively-managed concentrated portfolio with a responsible investment overlay.
“We expect it will have between 20 to 30 stocks,” Brownsey said. “It will have our usual exclusions – such as no fossil fuel or gambling companies – but we should also be able to engage more easily with Australian and NZ firms on environmental, social and governance [ESG] issues.”
Hamesh Sharma, who joined Pathfinder this April, will run the Australasian equities portfolio. Sharma was co-founder of independent stock researcher, Australasian Trading Management (ATM). ATM provides analysis of ASX and NZX stocks to advisory and wealth management firms.
Before founding ATM Sharma spent four years as an analyst at JB Were in Auckland.
While the recently-launched Pathfinder KiwiSaver scheme, CareSaver, would not feed directly into the new Australasian shares fund, Brownsey said there would be “some commonalities” across both portfolios.
Since launch in July, CareSaver has signed up more than 100 members and over $4 million. After one month in operation, the CareSaver growth fund was the second-highest performer in its category, according to FundSource data.
Brownsey said the ethically-themed CareSaver was also structured to allocate a small portion to illiquid assets as it grew funds under management (FUM).
All up, Pathfinder now has over $160 million across CareSaver, its five retail funds – covering water, global equities, commodities and international property – and wholesale Responsible Investment fund.
The Australasian equities fund was wholesale-only for now but Pathfinder could open up a retail “feeder” if required, Brownsey said.
Seed investors have committed almost $10 million to the Australasian shares strategy, he said.
Earlier this year Pathfinder sold down a 51 per cent stake to Alvarium Wealth Management (AWM), a consortium of UK and NZ-based investors.
The UK-headquartered Alvarium Investments (previously known as LJ Partnership) and Tailorspace – the investment firm of high-powered Christchurch businessman, Ben Gough – own about 75 per cent of AWM. Parties associated with another Auckland investment specialist business, NZAM, hold the remaining shares in AWM.
Tailorspace and Alvarium bought half of NZAM last year.