Former Cooperative Bank head Bruce McLachlan will take over the reins at Fisher Funds Management in April replacing the face of the country's fifth-biggest fund manager, Carmel Fisher.

McLachlan will take over on April 18, letting Carmel Fisher step back from the day-to-day operations to spend more time with her family. Carmel Fisher will continue to be a shareholder, director and member of the firm's investment committee, she said in a note to investors.

"When we began our search for a new chief executive, we wanted someone who understood and was excited about maintaining and growing the wealth of New Zealanders," Fisher said. "We wanted someone who would maintain our long-standing performance record and our commitment to exceptional client service. Bruce was an obvious choice for the role."

Fisher Funds manages more than $6.9 billion of assets for some 260,000 clients, generating fee income of $66.8 million in the year ended March 31. Carmel Fisher set the firm up with her husband, Hugh Fisher, in 1998 and it has grown to become the country's fifth-biggest fund manager, acquiring Tower Investments in 2013 which introduced New Plymouth-based lender TSB Bank as a shareholder. The bank has since increased its stake to 49 per cent.


In December, McLachlan announced his exit from the Cooperative Bank, saying at the time that he had taken a new leadership position with another New Zealand company. He was appointed CEO of the Cooperative Bank in 2012, not long after it gained its licence, and replacing Girol Karacaoglu who left to become a deputy secretary at the Treasury. McLachlan had previously worked for 10 years at Westpac Banking Corp, including a stint as acting chief executive for the New Zealand division.

Fisher Funds will introduce McLachlan to investors during a roadshow in May and June of this year.