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 Kiwi Wealth Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published in August 2023.
A short summary review of the KiwiSaver provider
Updated: 8th August 2023
Reviewed by: Erica Rodrigues
Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme review
Kiwi Wealth is a part of Fisher Funds. Together they are the largest specialist investment manager in New Zealand.
They offer seven different KiwiSaver Funds, ranging from a lower-risk cash fund to a higher-risk growth fund. Kiwi Wealth actively manages its investment funds. This allows the investment manager to adjust asset allocations for its global investments and create risk efficient funds which align with its ethical policy.
Kiwi Wealth adopts a responsible investing approach to its investments. This includes identifying opportunities and voting for positive change on ESG issues in organisations that it invests in. The provider excludes controversial and sensitive industries from its investments.
Kiwi Wealth charges annual fund fees that range between 0.37%-1.13% (with a minimum annual fee of $40 for all funds except the Default Fund). It is free to switch between different funds within the scheme and there are no joining or exit fees if you decide to switch providers. The provider does not charge any performance fees for any of its funds.
In general, the returns of Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver funds in the last 5 years have been higher than the average KiwiSaver returns.
Changes within the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
In Dec 2021, Kiwi Wealth was added to the list of default KiwiSaver providers following a government review of the default providers.
Based on past performance alone, for the past five years, KiwiWealth has continuously performed higher than the average KiwiSaver fund after fees and taxes.
Useful news related to the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider
Established in 2000, Kiwi Wealth has a strong track record of growth and innovation. From their original inception as Gareth Morgan Investments, through to the portfolio of offerings Kiwi Wealth has today, they have achieved many important milestones along the way.
On the 30th of November 2022, Kiwi Wealth officially joined the Fisher Funds whānau. Since then, a dedicated project team have been working hard on integrating the two businesses.
✅ New Zealand Based Provider
The Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme manages six funds and has total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 6.1 billion and 264,555 KiwiSaver members. (31 March 2023)
The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients
Ashley Gardyne - Chief Investment Officer
Ashley leads the Investment Management Team and the Trading Operations Team.
Ashley returned to New Zealand from London in 2013 to join the team. Previous investment experience was gathered in his 10 years of working in the world of mergers & acquisitions where he held responsibility for leading teams on acquisitions, divestitures and capital raising. Other senior leadership roles in London included managing the corporate finance group at RBS and ABN AMRO.
Ashley holds an MBUS (Finance) and BCom diploma from Otago University.
Daniel Collett - Head of Portfolio Management
With 14 years of experience, Dan is the Head of Portfolio Management and is responsible for management and trade implementation across the firm’s multi-asset portfolios as well as oversight of all equity and foreign exchange trading ensuring efficient market access.
Previous experience was gained at Sabre Fund Management in London where he worked in analytical and trading roles.
Daniel has been with Kiwi Wealth since 2019 and has a BSc in Business, Finance, and Economics from Loughborough University. As well as an MSc (Finance & Accounting) from Birkbeck University.
Sam Dickie - Senior Portfolio Manager
Sam leads both the international equity and property and infrastructure teams.
As an experienced investment professional, Sam spent 13 years offshore, holding roles at Moore Capital in both Hong Kong and Bennelong Asset Management in London.
Sam has a BCom in Finance from Otago University and an LLB from Victoria University.
Robbie Urquhart - Senior Portfolio Manager
Robbie is responsible for managing the portfolio design, construction, and risk assessment of Australian equities. Robbie has worked as a portfolio manager and analyst since 2001, in both New Zealand and London, where he held various roles with Trafalgar Copley, Copenhagen Capital, and FNZC.
He is the Chair of the ESG committee.
Robbie has an MBS (Finance) from Massey University. He also has a BCom (Agriculture Economics) from StellenBosch University.
Kiwi Wealth employs the use of Investment Managers to manage their KiwiSaver Scheme.
Kiwi Wealth Limited is the manager of the Scheme (Manager) and is responsible for offering and issuing interests in the scheme and the management of investments and administration of the Scheme. The Manager has delegated its investment management functions to Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership (Investment Manager). The Manager is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Investment Manager. Kiwi Wealth is responsible for deciding what the fund invests in, in accordance with the Statement of Investment Policies and Objectives (SIPO). The SIPO specifies the policy, objectives, investment philosophy, investment style, guidelines and limits that the Investment Manager and the Manager shall follow in relation to the investment of the assets of each investment fund of the Scheme.
Kiwi Wealth’s global scale and expertise means they have the investment capabilities to keep pace with the changing investing environment and deliver results for their members. Here is their alignment and responsibilities:
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.
Kiwi Wealth’s custodian is JB Were (NZ) Nominees Limited. JB Were (NZ) Nominees Limited has been creating value for its clients for more than 175 years and is one of New Zealand’s leading wealth managers. BNP Paribas Fund Services Australasia Pty Limited are currently custodians for some of the Default Fund's assets.
Kiwi Wealth's Supervisor
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.
Kiwi Wealth’s Supervisor is Public Trust. Public Trust of New Zealand was a government-appointed corporation sole providing trustee services to those unwilling to use private services or required by the courts or legislation to use the Public Trustee. From 2001 Public Trust ceased to be a corporation, adopting a structure similar to a company as a Crown entity and was renamed Public Trust. It administers 50,000 estates, trusts, funds and agencies. They supervise seven KiwiSaver Providers with approximately $13.5 billion assets under management.
Governance Process & Investment Monitoring
Investment performance for the Scheme is monitored monthly by the IMT and reviewed by the Investment Policy Committee when it meets. The Investment Policy Committee is responsible for setting portfolio objectives and constraints. In monitoring investment performance, the Investment Policy Committee considers an attribution analysis and other performance reports provided to it.
Performance of the Scheme is monitored over various periods, including, monthly, quarterly, year-to-date, and on a rolling 12 months basis (gross of tax). Performance is measured on an absolute return basis as well as relative to the Fund benchmark indices.
The investment processes followed by the manager
The philosophy of the Manager and Investment Manager is that the role of the Manager of the scheme is to protect the scheme’s purchasing power and the members’ capital. Further they aim to enhance members’ wealth through active asset allocation, in financial instruments including shares and fixed interest assets.
The Manager believes that opportunities to add value arise because of the following reasons:
Price discovery for individual securities is somewhat predictable. For example, the micro themes that drive security valuations develop over time, with individual investments showing relative momentum and mean reversion.
The Investment Manager is focused on managing total risk. It defines investment risk as the possibility of a permanent loss of economic capital – the purchasing power of money. It believes that investors experience this risk in two ways: the probability of loss, as well as the variance of returns. It manages both of these risk dimensions by:
The Investment Manager’s style is active, global investment with a dynamic total fund approach to investing.
The Investment Manager is principally an active investment manager of global investments. As an active investment manager, it has the discretion to change the asset allocation (the mix of asset classes between shares, fixed interest, cash and other financial instruments) and to actively choose individual securities and investments, as opposed to managing tightly against a predefined asset allocation.
The Investment Manager seeks to create risk efficient funds that utilise a wide practical set of investment activities subject to ethical, liquidity, transparency and cost efficiency tests.
The Investment Manager follows an integrated bottom up (security level) as well as top down (macro) approach with four main areas of emphasis:
The investment goal is to deliver higher returns, with lower risk, than common market index funds over the long term - after all costs, fees, and taxes.
The asset allocation applicable to each investment in the Scheme, is the responsibility of the Investment Managers (IM). The following are considered when making decisions related to the asset allocation:
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.
Fisher Funds Management Limited Responsible Investment Policy applies to Kiwi Wealth and the investment considerations of Kiwi Wealth schemes and funds.
According to Fisher Funds' Responsible Investment Policy, investing capital in a way that recognises Fisher Funds Management Limited’s (including Kiwi Wealth Investment Limited Partnership) (collectively “Fisher Funds”) fiduciary duty to act in the best economic interests of their clients but also encompasses Responsible Investing considerations, including taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns, is an important consideration for Fisher Funds.
Kiwi Wealth aims to invest responsibly in three ways:
The ESG Committee will maintain the List. Companies may be placed on the List because the products they produce, services they engage in, or their past conduct does not meet Fisher Funds’ ESG standards.
The ESG Committee will ensure that the List achieves the exclusion of the following industries:
Kiwi Wealth will identify and exclude companies that partake in highly unethical practices, especially in the following areas:
Kiwi Wealth also identifies areas of sensitivity that it takes into consideration when making decisions. These areas refer to industries that have a propensity to victimise the environment or people: