Milford Asset Management deputy chief investment officer, David Lewis, will leave the business after eight years triggering a reshuffle and new hires at the roughly $10 billion trans-Tasman boutique.
Lewis will transition his portfolio management duties for the Milford Diversified Income Fund to colleague, Paul Morris, in April before officially exiting the firm at the end of June.
At the same time, Travis Murdoch, who joined Milford last September from the UK, will replace Morris as portfolio manager of the Tran-Tasman Bond Fund, Global Corporate Bond Fund and cash funds.
However, Morris, will take on co-management duties for the Trans-Tasman and Global Corporate Bond Fund, alongside Ian Robertson, while retaining his investment roles at the group’s conservative funds (including KiwiSaver).
The Sydney-based Dan Simmonds will also step up as co portfolio manager of the Diversified Income Fund in April. Simmonds joined Milford in 2019, specialising in real estate and infrastructure assets.
In a statement, Milford says Lewis is resigning to “focus on family and planned personal projects”. Headquartered in Auckland, Milford has investment and business operations in both Australia and NZ. Chief investment officer, Wayne Gentle, is based in the Sydney office.
According to Australian research house Plan for Life, Milford reported retail funds under management of $9.3 billion at the end of September, jumping to become the fifth-largest in the NZ market.
Last week another rising Auckland-based boutique, Generate, underscored its increasing heft by poaching Financial Markets Authority (FMA) general counsel, Nick Kynoch.
Kynoch takes on the newly established general counsel role at the Generate KiwiSaver scheme later this month. Prior to joining the FMA about five years ago he served in legal and regulatory roles with various financial services firms in the UK.
In a statement, Generate says the appointment “demonstrates the company’s strong commitment to ensuring it not only meets, but tries to exceed regulatory expectations”.
Kynoch joins the boutique amid a wave of change in the KiwiSaver market. For example, the FMA will soon deliver its final ‘value for money’ KiwiSaver guidance that could ban embedded advice fees.
Generate, which like several other schemes bundles up advice fees in general administration costs, argued against the FMA proposal in its submission.
Henry Tongue, Generate chief, said at the time the mooted change would “create two classes of members, advised and unadvised”.
Generate manages about $2.7 billion, mostly in its KiwiSaver scheme, on behalf of 95,000 members.
FMA director regulation, Liam Mason, would be acting general counsel “while he considered how best to replace Mr Kynoch”, according to chief, Rob Everett.
Also last week, the perennially popular Platinum Asset Management promoted Clay Smolinski to co-chief investment officer. Smolinski has risen through the ranks since joining the storied firm in 2006 to his most recent role as co-manager of the flagship Platinum International Fund.
He will share the CIO duties with Platinum co-founder, Andrew Clifford.
Another veteran at the ASX-listed manager, Nikola Dvornak, has been named co-manager of the Platinum International Fund.
In January, Joseph Lai resigned as portfolio manager for the Platinum Asia fund with Clifford picking up the slack in the interim.