Fisher Funds is Acquiring KiwiWealth to become the second-largest KiwiSaver provider in the country, managing up to $14 billion in funds.
Leading law firm Russell McVeagh is pleased to have assisted Fisher Funds on its purchase of Kiwi Wealth for NZ$310 million, coming soon after working with the same team on the acquisition of Aon's KiwiSaver and superannuation schemes.
“Kiwi Wealth's more than 270,000 members will be gaining access to Fisher Funds’ award-winning advice and active investment team,” Kiwi Group Holdings Limited Chair Dame Paula Rebstock said.
“We were delighted to work with the Fishers team again and to be trusted, with Macquarie, to get this transaction across the line in what was a very competitive and compressed process. Our focus turns now to helping with the integration of the business and the long-term success of the partnership arrangements with Kiwibank,” said Russell McVeagh Corporate partner, Dan Jones.
Fisher Funds is looking to retain Kiwi Wealth’s default KiwiSaver status through the acquisition. This will require a formal approval process to be worked through over the transition period. The purchase is also conditional on approval by the Overseas Investment Office because Fisher Funds is 34% owned by TA Associates based in the US, and the remaining majority share is owned by the Toi Foundation, a New Zealand community trust.
Fisher Funds CEO Bruce McLachlan says that the acquisition is a natural extension of the company’s long-term growth plans in KiwiSaver and funds management in New Zealand.
"Our priority is now on working closely with Kiwi Wealth to ensure a seamless transition for all members and clients involved," said Mr McLachlan.
What does this mean for KiwiWealth members?
There will be no immediate change for customers or staff as each business will continue to operate separately.
Once the deal is completed, Fisher Funds and Kiwi Wealth will begin to work through a transition period to identify opportunities to grow the value of the combined businesses. Customers will receive further information ahead of the completion of the sale.
Under the deal, the Kiwi Wealth business will be integrated into Fisher Funds over time, and Kiwibank will refer KiwiSaver customers to Fisher Funds via a strategic partnership.
What does this mean for New Zealand?
Fisher Funds is majority owned by the investment arm of Toi Foundation, a Taranaki-based philanthropic trust known as the TSB Community Trust before rebranding last year.
Close to a decade ago, Toi’s grants were only funded by the profit of the TSB bank. Last year, TSB could not provide funds towards the Toi Foundation due to the Reserve Banks' prohibition on banks paying shareholder dividends during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, $33.9m came from Fisher Funds.
“It enables Toi Foundation to continue to empower our community to drive kaupapa that is important to them, and has positive outcomes for the region, and in the long-term will result in improved economic development, not just in financial terms, but also socially and environmentally,” Venture Taranaki chief executive Kelvin Wright said in a statement.
With Fisher Funds Acquiring KiwiWealth, the $310 million sale could see tens of millions pumped into the Taranaki philanthropic trust, and out into the community.
What Should I do?
There is no need to worry about switching funds due to the acquisition because there will be no immediate changes. If you feel unsure about your current situation and KiwiSaver Fund, you can complete a KiwiSaver Healthcheck. Completing a Healthcheck will allow you to reach your financial goals and receive KiwiSaver advice tailored to you.