BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme Details

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.

What questions are important to Investors?

Note: The following information is taken from BNZ Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published in September 2020.

Who is BNZ?

Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider


John Logan Campbell, Thomas Russell and other entrepreneurs founded various business enterprises in Auckland during the 1860s and later. 

These enterprises included the New Zealand Insurance Company (1859) and the Bank of New Zealand, which have closely associated with each other ever since.  The two companies were founded in time to take advantage of the gold finds which were beginning to be made in various parts of New Zealand. 

On 29 July, 1861, an Act to incorporate the proprietors of a certain Banking Co. called ‘The Bank of New Zealand’ and for other purposes was passed by Parliament.  This allowed the new corporation to carry on all the usual activities of a bank.  The bank was also empowered to issue its own bank notes.  The Deed of Settlement had already been signed on 2 July, 1861.

The first official meeting of the directors of the Bank of New Zealand took place on 2 October, 1861, with the first branch opening on Queen Street in Auckland a few weeks later on 16 October.

Below you will find a link for more information about Aon:





The BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme manages six funds. They have total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 2.7 billion and 178,146 KiwiSaver clients.


Who are the people looking after my money?

The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients

The Investment team

Doug McKay - Chairman

Doug McKay has been a director of BNZ since 2013 and was appointed Chairman in August 2015. He is also a non-executive director of National Australia Bank (NAB). 

Doug brings considerable commercial experience to the BNZ Board of Directors. His previous roles include CEO or Managing Director roles with Auckland Council, Carter Holt Harvey Limited, Goodman Fielder New Zealand Limited, Independent Liquor (NZ) Limited, Lion Nathan Limited, Procter & Gamble Limited, and Sealord Group Limited.

Doug is a director of Fletcher Building, Genesis Energy Limited and IAG New Zealand. Doug is Chairman of the Eden Park Trust Board and a chartered member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Angela Mentis - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

Angela Mentis was appointed CEO and Managing Director of BNZ in January 2018. She has been a director on the BNZ Board since December 2016.

Angela has extensive business, retail and institutional banking and wealth management experience, spanning more than 30 years.

Angela was previously Chief Customer Officer – Business and Private Banking with BNZ’s parent company, National Australia Bank, a position she held from August 2016. In this role, Angela was responsible for leading NAB Business, supporting customers across the Agriculture, Health and Government and Education sectors, along with Business Direct and Small Business, Private Wealth and JBWere.

Prior to this Angela was Group Executive, Business Banking at NAB from August 2014. She has also held senior roles as Executive General Manager, NAB Business – Australia’s largest SME business bank – and Executive General Manager, NAB Private Wealth.

Beginning her career at Macquarie Bank, Angela has held senior management positions at BT Financial Group, Westpac and Citibank Limited.

Angela is a director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme Limited. Angela is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) and a member of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association and Chief Executive Women and Global Women.

Mai Chen - Independent Director 

Mai Chen was appointed to the board of BNZ as an independent non-executive director in April 2015, and is chair of the People and Remuneration Committee and the Board’s Health and Safety Champion.

Mai is a barrister and solicitor with significant commercial and business experience and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland’s Law School. She specialises in public, regulatory and employment law, and has served on the Securities Commission of New Zealand, which has been superseded by the Financial Markets Authority (New Zealand).

Mai was previously on the advisory board of AMP Life Limited (NZ), NZ Board of Trade and Enterprise’s Beachheads Programme, Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Royal NZ Ballet, and on university and polytechnic councils. Mai is the inaugural chair of Global Women, Superdiverse Women and, Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, and New Zealand Asian Leaders.

Mai is the Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public Law Specialists Limited and a director of ASIANZ CEO Limited, Superdiverse Women Limited, CPP Limited and Socrates NZ Limited. Mai is also a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and Global Women.

Bruce Hassall - Independent Director  

Bruce Hassall was appointed as an independent non-executive director of BNZ in December 2015 and is Chair of the New Zealand Risk and Audit Committee.

Bruce is a chartered accountant and was previously Senior Partner and CEO of PriceWaterhouseCoopers New Zealand. Bruce has considerable commercial and strategic experience, together with technical audit, finance, and governance knowledge. His areas of expertise include financial reporting and capital raising and he has extensive industry knowledge across a wide range of sectors.

Bruce is Chairman of Fletcher Building Industries Limited, Fletcher Building Limited, Farmers Trading Company and Prolife Foods Limited.  Bruce is a director of Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and Marivan Holdings Limited.  Bruce is also a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

How is the Investment Team Structured?

BNZ is the Manager of BNZ KiwiSaver and their role is to decide how to invest the assets of the funds in the Scheme (Funds). BNZ are currently using the skills and experience of an investment consultant to choose a range of underlying investment managers who ultimately choose the underlying investments the Funds invest in. The Funds can invest directly in securities or by investing in underlying investment funds managed by BNZ or underlying investment managers. Each of the Funds also holds cash for liquidity purposes in an interest-bearing bank account with the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ).

BNZ’s underlying investment managers are: 

  • AMP Investment Management (NZ) Limited
  • Castle Point Funds Management Limited
  • Harbour Asset Management Limited 
  • Mint Asset Management Limited 
  • Nikko Asset Management New Zealand Limited 
  • Vanguard Investments Australia Limited 

Click the link below to find out more about the investment managers:


Who Manages My Money? 



BNZ is committed to managing conflicts of interest, by adopting BNZ’s Conflicts of Interest & Gifts Policy, which sets out BNZ’s policy and procedures that employees must follow. They may use related parties to provide services to the Funds, including staffing services, banking facilities and investments in other investment vehicles managed by us or related parties. They conduct all transactions with related parties of the Scheme on arms’ length commercial terms (as if the parties were independent) and follow the rules on related party transactions that apply to Managed Investment Schemes under the FMCA.

For more on how BNZ manages incentives and alignments, follow the link below to page 12 of the Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives:



How do I know my money is safe?

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.

BNZ's Supervisor & Custodian 

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.

BNZ’s Custodian and Supervisor is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited (NZGT). As custodian, NZGT is responsible for supervising the performance of BNZ’s duties as manager of the scheme. The Supervisor is independent of BNZ. 

As custodian, NZGT holds the Scheme’s assets on trust for clients separately and independently from BNZ.

For more, follow the link below to BNZ’s Product Disclosure Statement:


Product Disclosure Statement


BNZ's Governance Process & Investment Monitoring

The BNZ Investment Review Committee (IRC) reviews the SIPO at least every year or sooner if appropriate. When the IRC reviews the SIPO, it considers BNZ’s investment philosophy and the Funds’ investment strategies and objectives. BNZ consults with the Supervisor prior to approving any changes to the SIPO and provides written notice of the changes to the Supervisor before the changes take place. 

BNZ monitors the Funds’ investment mixes regularly. If a Fund’s investment mix falls outside its allowable investment ranges, BNZ acts to bring the investment mix back within the allowable investment ranges. They do this by buying and selling assets: 

  • Within five working days, or 
  • As soon as reasonably practicable considering factors like the ability to buy or sell assets and transaction costs. 

The target investment mixes and allowable investment ranges represent the exposure to the Funds’ authorised investments. However, the assets within the authorised investments are not considered when rebalancing. 

BNZ regularly monitors and reports on the investment performance of the Funds and the underlying investment funds. BNZ monitors each Fund’s performance using a performance measure referred to as a benchmark index. As the Funds have multiple asset classes (except the Cash Fund), every month they monitor performance against a mix of market indices detailed in Section 5 of the SIPO. The performance of each asset class is monitored every month against the respective market indices in Section 5 of the SIPO. The performance of the Funds and each asset class is measured over one, three and six-month periods, one year, and where applicable, further annualised periods (that is, three years, five years and since inception).

For more on BNZ’s Governance process and Investment Monitoring, follow the link below:



How do they decide where to invest?

The investment processes followed by the manager

Investment Belief


BNZ believes that integrating environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) into their investment process is important as these factors are drivers of sustainable long-term returns. In general, BNZ Responsible Investment (RI) activities are expected to support positive long-term outcomes for investors. In rare circumstances, it may exclude companies or sectors from consideration for investment based on non-investment-related factors. It is its strong belief that RI procedures which lean too heavily on exclusions are likely to result in sub-optimal investment and social outcomes. BNZISL is a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) and these Principles help to guide BNZ’s  approach to RI.

Follow the link below to BNZ’s Responsible Investment Policy:


Responsible Investment Policy


Investment Process 

BNZ builds Funds containing multiple asset classes (except for the Cash Fund) and investments by investing in the investment funds of, or securities managed by, the expert investment managers we have selected. Where underlying investment funds are used the investment managers of those funds will select the securities or other managed funds they invest in, within their investment guidelines. 

Transactions within the underlying investment funds are carried out by the investment managers of those funds, or a third party delegated this function by these investment managers.

BNZ hedges in the following ways: 

    • BNZ aims to hedge 100% of the Scheme’s international fixed interest investments to the New Zealand dollar.
    • BNZ aims to hedge 50% of the Scheme’s international equity investments to the New Zealand dollar. From time to time they may target a different hedging position to this. BNZ is allowed to hedge between 0% and 100% of the Scheme’s international equity investments to the New Zealand dollar. 
    • BNZ aims to hedge 100% of the foreign currency exposure arising from the Australian equities held in the Funds to the New Zealand dollar.


Does BNZ Invest responsibly?

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.

Ethical Exclusions

It is BNZ’s preference to invest via mandates with managers wherever possible. Where mandates are in place with investment managers, BNZ expects to be able to exclude certain sectors. Where BNZ gains its exposure via commingled funds, it may not be feasible to apply exclusions due to the commingled nature of the investment. 

The decision to exclude particular sectors takes account of the following considerations, to the extent that they are applicable: 

  1. The regulatory environment. 
  2. The materiality of the issue. 
  3. The impact on the risk and return of BNZ’s investment products. 
  4. The effectiveness of engagement.  
  5. Alignment with BNZ’s brand, values, and lending policies.

BNZ’s excluded sectors are: 

  • Cluster Munitions
  • Land Mines
  • Nuclear weapons systems
  • Tobacco 
  • Assault weapons 
  • Whaling 
  • Oil & gas
  • Thermal coal

Below is a link to the Responsible Investment Policy, for more information: 


Responsible Investment Policy


How does BNZ compare to others?

Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds

Aon Russell
Milford Active

*Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

*All returns are after fees and before tax, updated 30th September 2020.

*Source: MorningStar Fund Report September 2020

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Look at more than just fees and past performance

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:

  • How and where is my money invested? 

  • What is the level of volatility (risk) of this fund? Does it align with my volatility tolerance and capacity?

  • How do the fees compare to other funds with a similar rate of return?

  • What are the providers processes when selecting investments and making changes in the funds?

Our research team at National Capital looks at over 100+ funds and can recommend the right KiwiSaver investment for you. 

Why get advice from National Capital?

  • Detailed Research: We research various factors of KiwiSaver funds – from asset allocation all the way to ethical investing.

  • Answers: How do I know my money is safe? What risks are being taken?

  • Monitoring: We’re constantly monitoring the KiwiSaver landscape.

  • Expertise: Our team specialise in Investment and KiwiSaver research.

  • No cost to you: We get paid by the KiwiSaver providers

  • Gift of Time: We do the hard work, so you can focus on life.

Our KiwiSaver recommendations look at the big picture and not just the scorecard. So, what are you waiting for?