The just-released InvestNow KiwiSaver scheme has signed up hundreds of members in the first few days of operation, according to general manager, Mike Heath.
Heath said the new KiwiSaver, which went live last Tuesday, was “ahead of budget” for member sign-ups as the platform-based scheme tapped into demand for its multi-choice service.
“We’ve been getting lots of good feedback from members as well as fund managers and financial advisers,” he said. “For us it was important to launch the scheme as soon as possible and then develop it further according what members want.”
To date, Heath said member questions fell into “two camps”: those looking for help on how to select funds from the wide menu; and, those who wanted more funds on the list.
The scheme would cater to both extremes, he said, with more funds expected to join next year while InvestNow “builds out” educational material, including simple investment guides and the Sorted tools.
“We do tell members they should seek advice if they’re not sure,” Heath said.
InvestNow, the first new KiwiSaver scheme of 2020, offers a smorgasbord of underlying fund options to investors hungry for choice, covering almost 30 investment options sourced from nine different managers including a newly launched range of low-cost diversified funds under the Hunter brand (as reported elsewhere this week).
Other well-known NZ managers in the InvestNow KiwiSaver mix include AMP Capital, Castle Point Funds Management, Harbour Asset Management, Mint Asset Management and Salt Funds Management. The scheme also provides members access to several global funds from the likes of T Rowe Price, Russell Investments and MFS (via the Clarity Global Shares Fund structure).
Based on the model of the InvestNow direct-to-consumer platform, the new scheme sets all-in single management fees for each option with no extra administration or – unusually in the KiwiSaver universe – annual fixed dollar member fees.
The Hunter growth and balanced funds, for example, have a total annual fee of 0.37 per cent with underlying investments a blend of passive and active strategies.
“We’ve made the choice not to charge any KiwiSaver admin fees because we believe Kiwi’s should get to keep their hard-earned dollars for when they need it most – retirement,” Heath said in a release last week.
While it’s not the first KiwiSaver provider to include multiple manager funds under the same roof – the AMP and Aon schemes, for instance, offer a menu of choice – InvestNow has taken the concept further.
InvestNow founder, Anthony Edmonds, said in the release that the new scheme “breaks the traditional KiwiSaver mould” with its broad range of options.
Edmonds said the InvestNow KiwiSaver would appeal to members looking for low-cost, tax-effective passive options just as well as those who wanted to build their own bespoke actively managed portfolios.
He said the InvestNow KiwiSaver diversified funds – which span the traditional conservative, balanced and growth risk profiles typical in the industry – also provided an ‘easy-select’ route for investors happy to outsource asset allocation and fund choice.
According to the InvestNow KiwSaver statement of investment policies and objectives (SIPO): “Our core belief is that when it comes to retirement saving one size does not fit all… Our approach is to provide Members with building blocks, or Funds, that allow them to construct a portfolio to suit their particular requirements. This is consistent with the InvestNow philosophy of ‘investing, your way’.”
Heath said the KiwiSaver scheme was a “natural step” for InvestNow, which boasts more than $600 million under management on behalf of 30,000 plus members.
InvestNow has appointed Public Trust as supervisor, Adminis for custody and admin, and Link Market Services as registrar for the new KiwiSaver scheme.
The Wellington-based InvestNow, a subsidiary of Implemented Investment Solutions (IIS), shouldn’t be the only new KiwiSaver on the block this year with the Christchurch financial adviser services group, Consilium, slated to roll out a new multi-choice platform-based scheme shortly.
However, Consilium plans to distribute its KiwiSaver scheme, built on FNZ wrap technology, only through advisers, targeting clients with at least $50,000 to invest. It is understood another adviser-linked group is also in the throes of building a KiwiSaver product.
Excluding the new InvestNow offering, the KiwiSaver market currently features 33 schemes with collective funds under management of about $70 billion.