Fund ops exported as ANZ builds new team in NZ

by David Chaplin

ANZ Investments has reshuffled and added to its Auckland-based team after repatriating some core portfolio management functions from Australia where the bank’s wealth division is looking to outsource manufacturing.

In a note to clients, ANZ says the newly-established Investment Implementation Team (IIT) in Auckland would now host a raft of responsibilities formerly carried out under the purview of the Sydney-based Office of the Chief Investment Officer.

According to the ANZ note, the IIT, which reports to ANZ Investments CIO NZ, Graham Ansell, would take charge of:

  • implementation of foreign exchange hedging strategies;
  • tactical asset allocation implementation;
  • diversified portfolio maintenance; and,
  • cash flow and collateral management.

Following the trans-Tasman ANZ operational export, Matthew Young, switched titles from head of investment governance ANZ Wealth NZ to head of investment implementation. Ryan Orr, previously a senior member of the ANZ private client portfolio implementation team joined Young in the IIT as investment implementation analyst. Both Young and Orr are ANZ NZ veterans, clocking up 15 years and eight years, respectively, in various roles.

At the same time, ANZ has hired Russel Martin as senior research analyst for its domestic equity team. Martin, who reports to Mark Brown, ANZ Investments head of NZ and Australian Equity, most recently served as head of investment research for the Rank Group – the $3 billion plus private investment vehicle owned by the country’s richest man, Graeme Hart.

“During this time he was responsible for the management of Rank’s US corporate pension funds, commodity and foreign exchange risk management and M&A research,” ANZ says in a statement.

While ANZ has shored up its NZ funds management operation across the ditch the bank’s CEO, Shayne Elliott, has provided an update on plans to exit investment and insurance manufacturing across the Tasman.

Elliott told ANZ in-house publication BlueNotes earlier this month the bank was about to send out an information memorandum (IM) detailing its search for a wealth partner “who is going to be world class in terms of manufacturing and supplying product”.

“The information memorandum will craft a starting point for discussion,” he said, with the bank keeping an “open mind” on potential suitors.

He said the Australian ANZ wealth product factory was weighted to the retail insurance market. However, the Australian group maintains some in-house funds management resources – primarily via the OnePath and Optimix multi-manager suite – as well as a number of third-party branded financial advisory businesses.

Elliott said the ANZ wealth model was “unique” with the eventual restructure destined to “look different to our peers”.

“We’ve got to keep a very open mind because this is a very different business model than we have today, where we have the classic vertical integration where we own and operate everything,” he said. “It’s new, it’s a little bit different. There are other parts of the world that are very comfortable in this partnership model…”

ANZ formed a joint venture with the Dutch financial services giant, ING, in 2002 to offer insurance and investment products in Australasia. ANZ took full control of the operation in 2009 after purchasing ING’s 51 per cent share of the business for about $1.8 billion – later rebranding it as OnePath.

Previously, ANZ had a deal with Russell Investments to offer fund management products under the Gateway brand.

ANZ has deferred any decision on the fate of its NZ wealth arm until the Australian refurbishment is complete. However, Elliott has quarantined its market-leading KiwiSaver schemes – getting on for $10 billion – from any sale. ANZ Investments, which manages the KiwiSaver money, is the country’s largest fund manager, currently controlling over $23 billion.

The NZ investment unit, though, may face a long wait for clarity as any Australian ANZ wealth ‘partnership’ negotiations were expected to drag on for some time.

“I would be very surprised if there were any major announcements before the end of this calendar year,” Elliott told BlueNotes, while flagging a potential end-game ‘capital markets solution’.

“It may well be that all, or part of, the business will list on the local stock exchanges,” he said.

– Investment News NZ