Morningstar has put a hold on three AMP Capital Australian share funds after the manager instigated a review of its in-house capability in the asset class.
According to a Morningstar report published last week, the AMP Capital “strategic review” will impact the manager’s Australian Equity, Sustainable Shares, and Equity Income funds, which collectively have about A$1.8 billion under management.
“We are placing these strategies Under Review, until AMP Capital finalise their review and the impact on the Australian equities strategies can be ascertained,” the Morningstar report says. “The outcome is expected in the next three to six months, and AMP Capital will endeavour to complete the review within this time frame.”
The Morningstar report says the AMP Capital Australian shares team has stabilised following the departure of former co-head Gian Pandit and senior portfolio manager Jonas Palmqvist late in 2015. As well as promoting Carlos Castillo and Phillip Hudak to co-manage the core Australian shares strategy, AMP Capital subsequently restocked the team with: resources specialist, Peter Harris; former Anatares Capital portfolio manager, Richard Colquhoun; and, ex Macquarie quant, Geoff Wells.
Morningstar says while “turnover has plagued the shop historically”, AMP Capital shored up the Australian equities’ team remuneration incentives to improve investor alignment and staff retention.
Despite instigating the Australian equities review, AMP Capital told Morningstar “equities is an important part of AMP Capital’s business and there are no plans to shut it down”.
In December 2014 AMP Capital shuttered its in-house NZ equities team, eventually outsourcing the-then $690 million portfolio to Salt Funds Management, which itself was spun out of Westpac NZ in 22013.
This March AMP Capital dismantled its Hong Kong-based Asian shares team following the wind-up of the China Growth Fund and a move to a more global focus for equities. AMP Capital launched a new concentrated international shares fund in April managed by investment teams based in Sydney and London.
At the time, David Allen, London-based AMP Global chief investment officer, said: “We believe our star team approach – rather than that of a star portfolio manager – leads to better and more sustainable outcomes for clients by managing individual behavioural biases and reducing key person risk.”
The AMP Global Equity Fund – not yet being marketed to NZ clients – represented a “trailblazer for how we plan to re-position our broader equity fund range over time”, Allen said in April.