The new Australian owner of local research shop, FundSource, has made good on its promise to press on with a NZ awards event this year in spite of a tight turnaround time.
Zenith Investment Partners last week confirmed the FundSource awards would kick on in 2019 at the same venue as last year – the iHeart Lounge in Auckland’s NZME building – in a couple of weeks.
After a drawn-out sales process, Zenith bought FundSource from the NZX in May this year for about $340,000. Since completing the purchase, Zenith has dispatched researchers to its NZ outpost in an effort to redraft the existing FundSource qualitative reports, previously produced by another Australian business, Research IP.
At the time of the buyout, Zenith co-founder, David Wright, said the group would retain the FundSource brand while shoring up the existing quantitative data – supplied by UK firm FE Analytics – with in-house resources.
Wright said in May that Zenith was “going in with our eyes open” into a NZ market that has been a graveyard for Australian fund researchers.
“Globally, there’s a push to greater compliance and oversight [of financial advice and markets] and that’s only moving in one direction,” he said earlier. “But we know we have a lot to learn about the NZ market and we don’t think it’s exactly like Australia.”
It is understood that Research IP, headed by Darren Howlin, is also sounding out the NZ market for a potential return under its own brand.
Meanwhile, both Morningstar and MyFiduciary also compete in the NZ fund research space. MyFiduciary struck a deal in June this year to offer a tailored version of the Morningstar Adviser Research Centre platform in NZ – subsequently winning a number of gigs including Milestone and Professional Investment Associates (PIA). PIA is a group of six independently-owned financial advisory firms that combine to purchase certain shared services. Recently, some former PIA members, including Totara Wealth, broke away to create a new shared services business, the Independent Adviser Alliance, which has five underlying advisory firms.
Zenith has set the NZ awards down for October 2, although further information is in short supply given the FundSource website was down last week.
However, Zenith has its Australian award ceremony slated for the following week on October 11 under a format likely to be similar – if truncated – in NZ. Zenith has 17 fund sector awards up for grabs in Australia as well as two new categories: the rising star and responsible investment awards.
The research house also dishes out two peak prizes covering fund manager of the year and distributor of the year.