AMP Capital's head of equities, Guy Elliffe, and senior analyst, Jonathan Davis, will leave the business at the end of this month as the funds management company outsources its New Zealand equity management to a third party.

The company, in a letter to investors, said the decision to outsource was not a reflection of the performance of the portfolios and the company said it had been reviewing how best to deliver New Zealand equity management capability.

"We have now completed the review and have decided the best option for our clients and our business is to outsource active New Zealand equity management to a third-party active equity manager," it said. AMP Capital said it expected the transition to take place by March 31 and that its investment philosophy would not change.

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The AMP Capital Investment Funds directly affected by this change are the AMP Capital NZ Shares Fund, AMP Capital Strategic NZ Shares Fund, the AMP Capital Responsible Investment Leaders NZ Shares Fund and the AMP Capital Income Generator Fund.

"The rationale for the decision has been driven by our views on the future growth, profitability and capacity of active equity management in New Zealand," it said. "We also took into account the need to have a stable team delivering that capability."

"Guy Elliffe has made a significant contribution to the business in leading the New Zealand equity team over the past 10 years," AMP Capital said. Davis joined the business last August.

"We thank both Guy and Jonathan for their valuable contribution and wish them well for the future," it said.

Until the portfolios are transitioned, the New Zealand share portfolios will continue to be actively managed by portfolio managers and analysts from the broader AMP Capital group.

Michael Price, co-head of Australian Fundamental Equities, has overall responsibility for the management of the New Zealand equity portfolios, it said.

Since the departure of equities portfolio manager, Douglas Lau, last year, Mark Ferguson, senior portfolio manager, and other members of the broader AMP Capital Listed Property team, have been managing the AMP Capital NZ Listed Property Securities Fund.

This team will now permanently take over the active management of this portfolio.


Last November, The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the manager of the NZ Superannuation Fund, terminated AMP Capital's New Zealand active equities mandate.

Funds management sources said at the time the most likely reason for the decision was staff turnover at AMP Capital.

Early in 2014, John Phipps, the then deputy head of equities at AMP Capital, and Darryl Briggs, investment strategist at Wellington firm Harbour Asset Management, left their jobs to set up a new funds management firm, Forte.

See the full AMP announcement here: