There's a lot more to selecting a KiwiSaver fund than just checking past returns and fees. If your hard-earned money is invested in KiwiSaver, you need to ask the important questions to understand where and how that money is invested.
Note: The following information is taken from Amanah Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published in June 2020.
Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider
Amanah Ethical is a boutique fund management group based in Auckland, New Zealand. They specialise in providing ethical investment solutions to New Zealand and international investors.
The Amanah Ethical group currently consists of two companies, Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited and AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited, which are licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 to manage AmanahNZ and Amanah KiwiSaver Plan respectively.
✅ New Zealand Based Provider
The Amanah KiwiSaver Scheme manages one fund and has total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 20 million and 1,291 KiwiSaver clients.
The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients
Gregory Fortuin - Chairman
Gregory is the Chairman of Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited and AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited and has considerable business and governance experience both in New Zealand and Internationally. Gregory served as director on the boards of NZ Post, Kiwibank, Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Weltec and Catalyst Risk Management, Transpower and the Accident Compensation Corporation where he chaired the Investment Committee. Gregory is the former Race Relations Commissioner of New Zealand (2001-2002) and was the first resident representative of the new South Africa in New Zealand, when appointed Honorary Counsel by Nelson Mandela in 1998. He came to New Zealand in 1991 as Managing Director, National Mutual Corporate Superannuation Services and is also heavily involved in community issues across New Zealand. Gregory was the National Director of the Salvation Army’s Education and Employment division from 2013 – 2019. Gregory is currently a Strategic Community Adviser to the NZ Police Commissioner (since 2014) and is the current Chairman of Quotable Value Limited.
Claude Oberto - Director
Claude is a Director of Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited and AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited. A senior financial professional with particular expertise within the financial services industry and the funds/wealth management industry. Claude has held the position of Managing Director of NF Global Limited since January 2014. He is currently the independent Chair for the Bank of Baroda (NZ) Limited, an Indian bank. His past roles include consultant to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Vice President (Treasury) of Citigroup New Zealand and HSBC New Zealand. Claude has held the position of Independent Chairman of New Zealand Financial Advisers Association and is a past Chairman of the Community Organisations Grant Scheme (COGS – a New Zealand government initiative). Claude holds an MBA Degree and serves as the lecturer on the MBA Programme at AIS Business Management School. He is the author of the book, Foreign Exchange for Managers – a practical approach.
Dr. Faruk Balli - Director
Dr. Balli is a Director of Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited and AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited. He is an Associate Professor at Massey University School of Economics and Finance and an adjunct Professor at Gediz University Turkey. Previously he worked as a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Qatar and at Dubai University as an Assistant Professor. He has more than 30 publications in high ranked international journals and has served on the editorial board of various field journals. Dr. Balli has a PhD from the University of Houston.
Anwar Ghani - Director
Dr Anwar Ghani is a Director of Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited. Dr Anwar Ghani has held the position of Director for Export, NZ Natural Beef and Lamb Limited, New Zealand Islamic Products & Services Limited. He has also been a Patron of New Zealand Royal College of Police, Ex President of Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) and holds an excellent track record in Agri-business and Environmental Science.
Jay Barrymore - Managing Director
Jay Barrymore is the Managing Director of Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited and AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited. He is a CFA® charterholder and has worked as an investor in both public and private equity for the last 14 years. In particular, Jay has a depth of experience in impact investing – where investments not only meet a portfolio's required risk and return but also create a measurable social or environmental impact. Jay graduated with a BA from University College London (UCL) and is a Trustee of The Historic England Foundation.
The Manager’s Board of Directors have delegated the investment decisions to a subcommittee of the Board of Directors, called the Investment Committee.
The Investment Committee’s responsibilities include:
The Investment Committee and the Executive Committee manage the analytical team whose responsibilities include monitoring the investments, research, providing investment recommendations and reporting to the Investment Committee, as required by the Investment Committee.
All assets of the Scheme are held by the Supervisor via its Custodial company, TEA Custodians (AmanahNZ) Limited.
The Manager has a management agreement with Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited, the parent company of the Manager. All staff are employed by Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited, and all investment management and administrative services for the Scheme are undertaken by the same, except where these functions are outsourced to external service providers. Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited receives reimbursement for these duties under the management agreement, which is derived from the management fee for the Scheme outlined in its governing documents.
The Boards of Directors for AmanahNZ KiwiSaver Limited and Amanah Trust Management (NZ) Limited consist of the same persons.
All fees and reimbursements for expenses to the Manager or other parties must be approved by two Directors and the Supervisor before processing. All payments from the Scheme’s assets are processed by the Custodian. Amanah Growth Fund’s fees and expenses reimbursements to the Manager may be deducted by redemption of Amanah Growth Fund’s units in AmanahNZ.
The Board of Directors and staff are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest they may have prior to appointment and on an ongoing basis. Where it is deemed that a Director has a conflict of interest with the business, further action may be required, including removal of the concerned person in serious circumstances. Amanah also maintains an internal compliance framework that addresses identifying, declaring and managing conflicts of interest.
Governance & Compliance processes
All KiwiSaver Scheme Providers must ensure they meet regulatory standards and act with customer interests in mind.
KiwiSaver Scheme Managers must exercise care, diligence, and skill in the investment of scheme assets, and act in accordance with the stated investment policy and objectives. The FMA monitors that KiwiSaver Schemes are compliant with their obligations. Additionally, KiwiSaver Scheme Trustees also have a responsibility as front-line supervisors for monitoring the management and administration of these schemes.
A custodian plays a key role in protecting your investments. They hold your money and investments (i.e. keep custody of them) on your behalf. So they are the legal holder of your assets while you are the beneficial and ultimate owner.
A supervisor is a licensed entity independent of a KiwiSaver scheme provider that supervises the provider’s management of the scheme. KiwiSaver schemes are trusts, and (except for restricted KiwiSaver schemes) the terms of the trust deed states that the supervisor (or another custodian) must hold all contributions and investments in trust for the investors.
Amanah’s supervisor and custodian is Trustees Executors Limited.
Investment Performance Monitoring
The primary goals of investment reporting/monitoring are to:
The purchase and/or sale of Units by Amanah Growth Fund is at the discretion of the Investment Committee.
Asset Monitoring Systems
Appello Services Limited provides asset registry services to the Manager via its “Sandpit” service. Examples of asset information included in the Sandpit are:
The analytical team monitors the performance of the portfolio on a daily basis using the Sandpit. The analytical team also uses the data in the Sandpit regularly for both internal and external reporting purposes.
For more information on monitoring, follow the link below:
The investment processes followed by the manager
Amanah has a strict Ethical Mandate that governs all of their investing activities.
The Ethical Mandate:
Although AmanahNZ follows strict Islamic guidelines regarding its investments, the stocks it invests in may receive insignificant income from interest and other Prohibited Business Activities. The financial ratios required by AAOIFI ensure that any stocks in the portfolio have low debt with strong balance sheets (a requirement of Shari’ah compliance) and strict financial ratios. The intention is that all stocks in the portfolio are making or doing something that is working towards the good of mankind.
Standard & Poors has eleven key industrial sectors, namely Energy, Materials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Financials, Information Technology, Telecommunication Services, Utilities and Real Estate. AmanahNZ is unable to invest in Financials and Utilities due to the equities in those sectors being noncompliant with the AAOIFI standards.
The application of AAOIFI’s financial ratios dominates the selection and sale of stock. The predominant reason that a stock in the portfolio is sold is due to the company taking on debt and thereby exceeding the conservative debt ratios the Manager applies under the Ethical Mandate. The financial ratios are monitored on a daily basis.
In most circumstances cash held by Amanah Growth Fund will only be held for processing reasons (i.e. to accumulate funds for purchase of Units). However, from time to time the Manager may decide to use cash (in NZD dollars) as a cushion against high volatility, as a buffer in times of uncertainty and to preserve the value of the Scheme in times of unusual market events. Cash is held in interest-free bank accounts to ensure compliance with the Scheme’s Ethical Mandate.
Follow the link below the SIPO document for more:
Social and Ethical Considerations
Socially responsible investing (SRI) or Environmental, Social and Governance investing (ESG), also known as sustainable, socially conscious, “green” or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social/environmental good to bring about social change regarded as positive by society.
Basically, SRI investing is investing in companies that have a positive impact on society, based on a number of factors.
Amanah KiwiSaver Plan applies an Ethical Mandate which is defined in the Trust Deed and Statements of Investment Policy and Objectives.
The Ethical Mandate states the types of investing activities allowed and the ethical screening criteria applied in the selection and monitoring of investments.
They believe that applying an Ethical Mandate to their investing approach provides transparency for investors, and allows investors to take responsibility for how their investing affects society.
The Ethical Mandate prohibits investment in companies that source significant income (defined as more than 5% of their total income) from the following business activities:
Amanah also applies the following investment principles:
For more on Amanah’s principles, follow the link below:
AmanahNZ has the obligation under its SIPO to maintain an Ethical Mandate which is identical to the Ethical Mandate that applies to this SIPO. The daily review of the investments by IdealRatings certifying that all stocks meet the AAOIFI standard is shared with the Manager. The Islamic Advisory Board requires AmanahNZ to hold a current Shari’ah compliant report on all investments.
We have looked at the best performing KiwiSaver funds based on their 5-year returns, however, looking at past performance of a fund is just one aspect when choosing a KiwiSaver fund. Other questions you should be asking include:
Our research team at National Capital looks at over 100+ funds and can recommend the right KiwiSaver investment for you.
Our KiwiSaver recommendations look at the big picture and not just the scorecard. So, what are you waiting for?
Amanah KiwiSaver Plan has the following KiwiSaver Funds. More details on each of these funds can be found in the links below.