Fisher Funds has hauled in a net income of more than $100 million over the 2018/19 financial year as the group’s total assets under management jumped above $9 billion for the first time.
According to the latest Fisher accounts published last week, the Takapuna-based manager booked a net profit after tax of some $48 million – up almost $10 million year-on-year.
Gross revenue ($106 million) was up by about 19 per cent over the 12-month period from $89 million last year.
The firm saw performance fee income up almost 75 per cent during the year to almost $25.8 million compared to $14.8 million in the 2017/18 period. Management fees rose more than 8 per cent from $69.1 million last year to close to $75 million in 2018/19 while administration fees held about steady at $4.9 million.
Fisher also kept cost increases under 10 per cent year-on-year as overall expenses rose from $36.3 million to $39.7 million in the 2018/19 reporting period. Staff remuneration increases represented about $2.5 million of the total jump in costs over the year.
By comparison, Milford and Pie Funds – that, like Fisher, reported significant performance fee revenue in latest financial year – increased spending by 20 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, during the period. Pie abolished its performance fees as of April 1, 2019.
After regularly paying down a debt of more than $30 million incurred in 2013 to buy Tower Investments, Fisher held the loan principal unchanged at almost $19 million over the latest year – with an average interest rate of about 3.4 per cent.
“The Bank of New Zealand loan was originally due to mature on 31 July 2019 but the agreement was amended and restated in February 2019 with a new expiry date of February 2022,” the annual report says.
Fisher issued a fully-imputed dividend of $46.5 million for the 2018/19 year split between owners TSB Community Trust ($32.6 million) and TA Associates ($13.9 million). The US private equity firm and TSB Community Trust bought out remaining Fisher shareholders – including founder Carmel Fisher – in 2017.
TA Associates, which also purchased the global Russell Investments business about the same time, subsequently increased its stake in Fisher from 25 per cent to the current 34 per cent.
The TSB Community Trust, headed by Maria Ramsay, booked a dividend of $11 million from its subsidiary TSB Group – the entity that ultimately holds shares in Fisher – for the year ending March 31, 2019.
According to the TSB Community Trust 2019 annual report: “Over the past year TSB Group Ltd, the Trust’s Investment Management entity, has continued to engage proactively with the Trust’s two key assets, TSB and Fisher Funds, to monitor investment performance and ensure positive outcomes for all parties…
“It is important to remember that we would not be able to achieve all that we do within our community without the continued performance of both TSB and Fisher Funds. By banking with TSB and having your Kiwisaver with Fisher Funds, you are helping to contribute to the wonderful community of Taranaki.”
As at March 31 this year, Fisher managed about $4.7 billion across its two KiwiSaver schemes with the remainder invested in the group’s other retail funds, listed investment companies (Marlin, Kingfisher and Barramundi) and institutional clients.