KiwiSaver is proving an irresistible lure for local fund managers seeking retail distribution with a new scheme joining the ranks in January.
In a move reminiscent of the launch of the Generate KiwiSaver scheme, also revealed in this column last January, boutique Auckland fund manager Goldman Henry has its new product, the Amanah KiwiSaver Plan, registered for business.
Like Generate, Goldman Henry specialises in running international investments from New Zealand, although the two firms use totally different methodologies.
Generate, headed by former Fisher Funds co-chief, Warren Couillault, operates a fund-of-funds, selecting a range of offshore managers, while Goldman Henry invests directly into US equities via its US 50 Fund, which currently manages about $8 million.
According to its September 2013 quarterly disclosure documents, Generate had garnered about $1.65 million and 640 members since opening its doors earlier in the year.
While the KiwiSaver market began contracting last year with a number of schemes merging, selling or closing, the government-mandated growth is undoubtedly attractive for NZ fund managers.
Some local fund managers - including Fisher Funds, Milford Asset Management, Grosvenor, Gareth Morgan and NZ Funds - have benefitted by launching their own schemes; other managers have been content to pick up the odd mandate from KiwiSaver providers without taking on the extra responsibilities of scheme management.
But with the main territories already staked out, new entrants to the KiwiSaver market are looking for relatively unexplored niches.
It is understood the Amanah KiwiSaver Plan - to be managed by Goldman Henry and likely invest into the already-established Amanah PIE fund - will target the Islamic Shari'ah market, which specifies a few unique investment conditions.
According to the Amanah PIE trust deed, the fund is prohibited, amongst other items, from investing in: interest-based products; derivatives; companies involved in war, pork production, alcohol, gambling, tobacco and stem cell research.
The full Amanah KiwiSaver documents are expected to be published within the next couple of weeks.