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 MAS Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published in September 2020.
Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider
As a mutual society, MAS customers become Members. MAS is owned by their Members so they don't have to generate big profits for external shareholders. And because their advisers are paid a salary with no commissions, you can be sure they have your best interests at heart.
MAS was founded by doctors for doctors in 1921, and now more than 80% of the medical profession insured with MAS.
✅ New Zealand Based Provider
For more information, please see the About Us page below:
The Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Scheme has a total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 769 million and 15,117 KiwiSaver clients.
The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients
Brett Sutton - Deputy Chairperson
Brett is an experienced independent director. He is currently Chair of the Stevenson Group and Mint Asset Management, and Deputy Chair of the Co-Operative Bank. His previous employment experience included senior investment roles at the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Todd Corporation.
Harley Aish - Chairperson
Harley is a General Practitioner in Otara, South Auckland. He has been involved in several projects with the local District Health Board to research and improve health for the local community, integrating care, and trying new models of care. He is currently Chairman of ProCare Health Limited.
Danielle Dinsdale - Board Member
Danelle is a commercial lawyer who has spent the last 12 years overseas advising boards and senior executives on change management, mostly in the insurance and banking sectors. Since returning to New Zealand, she has been working on a portfolio of commercial property and agricultural interests. She is a Director for both Crown Fibre Holdings Limited and Hawkes Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd. Danelle is on the sub-committee for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Dam and prior to becoming a director of MAS, Danelle served as an independent director for Medical Securities Limited (MSL) from 30 November 2010 to August 2013.
Kate Baddock - Board Member
Dr Kate Baddock is Chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, a Fellow of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, and a member of both the Institute of Directors and Auckland Medicolegal Society. She gained her medical degree at the University of Otago and currently works as a GP and partner at Kawau Bay Health in Warkworth. She teaches undergraduate medical students, postgraduate doctors, and registrars in General Practice training programmes.
MAS works with investment managers to manage the assets of each Fund. The investment managers they currently work with are:
The role of individual investment managers is reviewed annually. Factors taken into account in these reviews include investment style, resources, organisational strength and investment performance relative to objectives.
MAS may remove an investment manager and appoint a new investment manager at any time.
In order to avoid, mitigate and manage potential conflicts, MAS has adopted a Conflicts of Interest Policy. The key principle is that any potential conflicts of interest are avoided where possible. If that is not possible, then they are clearly disclosed by any person making decisions on behalf of the Plan and mitigated to the greatest extent possible.
Trade Allocation & Execution Policy
Trades for the Funds, other than foreign currency hedging, are executed by JBWere NZ (Pty) Ltd. Their Trade Allocation and Execution Policy ensures that all clients are treated fairly and equitably when trades are allocated across Funds with respect to priority of execution of orders and in the allocation of trades.
Foreign exchange hedging is undertaken by BNZ and the method of trade execution is set out in an agreement for foreign currency hedging services.
For Australasian equities MAS has employed Institutional Investor Services to vote on their behalf. For the responsible investing mandate component of international equities, the sub-contracted manager (BlackRock) votes according to their policies.
For more information on MAS’ policies, follow the link below to download the Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives:
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.
MAS’ custodian is JBWere (NZ) Nominees Limited.
For more information on the custodian, follow the link below:
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.
MAS’ supervisor is Medical Funds Management Limited.
Each month MAS receives performance reporting from the investment managers. They monitor the performance of each Fund against its market index for the month, quarter and year. They also monitor the performance of each asset class against the relevant benchmark index over the same time frames.
Each quarter they monitor the performance of each Fund against other similar KiwiSaver funds over the previous three months and the previous year. MAS also monitors the performance of each asset class against that of other appropriate investment managers over the quarter and year.
Each year they monitor the performance of the Funds against:
Each year we also monitor the performance of each asset class against:
For more information on monitoring, follow the link below:
The investment processes followed by the manager
MAS’s investment philosophy is based on six key beliefs. They believe:
Each Fund has different levels of risk and provides different potential returns. The choice of authorised investments for each Fund takes into account the Fund’s risk profile, objectives and investment strategy.
The investment strategy of a Fund takes into account:
Follow the link below to 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.
The Plan’s investments are made according to the following guidelines:
MAS has committed to excluding companies whose principal business activities are:
For more on MAS’ principles, follow the link below:
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?
More details on MAS Funds can be found in their PDS.