by David Chaplin
ANZ Investments in New Zealand has handed the Australian-based Maple-Brown Abbott (MBA) a newly created global listed infrastructure mandate, seeding the portfolio with NZ$250 million (A$238 million), taking the number of external managers on the ANZ (NZ) roster to eight. Each of these runs offshore assets for the NZ$32 billion bank’s investment arm.
Global listed infrastructure is a relatively new asset class that has only come into its own over the last decade or so.
Often touted as a half-way house between property and equities, global listed infrastructure targets assets that offer steady income and some measure of inflation-protection.
The change adds further diversification for ANZ funds – the biggest non-government-owned manager in NZ – including the group’s $14 billion or so KiwiSaver assets.
MBA is among a small group of managers offering specialist global listed infrastructure to NZ investors with others such as the former Colonial First State Global Asset Management (now First Sentier Investors) and AMP Capital also in the game.
The Sydney-headquartered MBA has a long history in its home country as an institutional Australian equities manager but diversified more recently into other asset classes including global listed infrastructure in 2012.
In 2015, MBA launched into NZ via a relationship with third-party marketing firm, Heathcote Investment Partners. According to MBA, about half of the global infrastructure fund is held in regulated utility markets such as water, gas and electricity.
“… the remainder is comprised of concession infrastructure assets including toll roads and airports, along with assets that are subject to long-dated contracts such as pipelines and satellite,” MBA says.
The MBA global listed infrastructure universe comprises roughly 110 stocks with a combined market cap of close to US$13 trillion.
Since inception, the MBA Global Listed Infrastructure Fund has returned an annualised 15.8 per cent against 7.3 per cent for its benchmark – the OECD total inflation index plus 5.5 per cent.
As well as MBA, ANZ Investments uses Franklin Templeton, LSV Asset Management, MFS and Vontobel for international equities and Vanguard for global fixed income. Last year ANZ also made two mandate changes, Nikko Asset Management Australia to manage half of the bank’s Australian equities portfolio and Resolution Capital for offshore listed property.
Nikko and Resolution replaced Arnhem Investment Management and Clarion Capital, respectively.
– Investment News NZ