Inside Money

Business writer David Chaplin blogs on personal finance

Inside Money: Money men on the merry-go-round

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Disparate funds management units within the various ANZ-owned entities are due for a major shake-out, spearheaded by Simon Botherway, pictured. Photo / Dean Purcell
Disparate funds management units within the various ANZ-owned entities are due for a major shake-out, spearheaded by Simon Botherway, pictured. Photo / Dean Purcell

As the New Zealand Herald reported last week the disparate funds management units within the various ANZ-owned entities are due for a major shake-out with a number of staff expected to join the ranks of the disestablished.

Details of the ANZ funds management redesign, spearheaded by Simon Botherway, should be available on November 18 but the changes are in keeping with the cyclical nature of the industry.

For example, over at Botherway's old shop, Brook Asset Management, managing director, Mark Brighouse, recently abandoned ship only to resurface at the oversized Fisher Funds Management.

In contrast to Fisher, which has grown exponentially since taking out the Huljich KiwiSaver scheme, Brook has been on a downward slide since Botherway and fellow-founder Paul Glass sold out the remaining half of the business to the Australian Macquarie Bank exactly three years ago.

From a high of well over $1 billion it is understood Brook's funds under management have shrunk to just $60 million. Much of that, mainly institutional, money has fled to the boutique launched by Glass a couple of years ago, Devon Funds Management, supporting the theory that money is loyal to people not brands.

Devon also eventually replaced Brook in the affections of the country's prestige investment vehicle, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Admittedly, Brook lost its NZ Super Fund mandate early in 2009 with another boutique, Milford Asset Management, filling its spot a year later (Devon joined the party earlier in 2011).

Milford has grown rapidly since winning the NZ Super gig (amongst other developments), which has recently led to a few internal readjustments. In October, Milford renamed its 'Peak Fund' as the 'Milford Trans-Tasman Fund' while splitting it in two sub-funds allocated 50/50 between NZ and Australian shares: the NZ equities half to be managed by Mark Warminger while Marc Whittaker takes on the Australian shares responsibility.

NZX-owned research house FundSource promptly slapped a 'hold' notice on the fund although nobody appears to have noticed.

Anthony Quirk, Milford managing director, said the new structure reflected the reality of the fund, which was invested evenly between Australia and NZ whereas it was benchmarked against a 30 per cent allocation to Australia (the fund's benchmark has also been realigned to 50/50).

Quirk said the change also freed up former head of the fund, Jonathan Windust, to concentrate on running the Milford Income Fund.

As well as managing the local equities component of the Trans-Tasman fund Mark Warminger is responsible for looking after Milford's NZ Super Fund mandate.

Meanwhile, NZ Super is searching for a new head of asset allocation after Keith Poore resigned after less than a year in the job.

Poore, formerly Axa Global Investors head of investment strategy, has picked up an almost identical role at AMP Capital Investors. It's been a short round trip for Poore who will essentially be part of the same team he left behind just 11 months ago at Axa Global Investors, which AMP bought early this year and since folded into its inner circle.


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